Diagnosis: Pandemic is Bad for Trump’s Re-election Chances

Janie Wu, staff writer

Before the pandemic hit, President Donald Trump’s main reelection strategy was to focus on the booming economy. The fortunate state of the economy pushed Trump’s approval ratings into the high 40s, and it was speculated he might even reach the high numbers Barack Obama did when he was reelected in 2012. However, in the face of the pandemic the economy declined significantly, and Trump very publicly considered COVID-19 insignificant. As we know now, that is most definitely no longer the case.

Aside from the booming economy before the pandemic, Trump’s leadership skills were lacking. Thus the main focus of his campaign was the economy. However, since its decline, it is unlikely that his campaign will be as successful. Throughout history, presidential reelection rarely occurred during economic downturns. 

Outside of economic concerns, according to a poll by the New York Times, only a small portion of Americans trust Trump’s information on the pandemic. It’s not hard to see why. Many of the foolish things that Trump has said, he later dismissed as sarcasm. For instance, during one of his daily briefings he suggested that people should inject themselves with disinfectant, later stating he was being sarcastic. 

However, even if he was being sarcastic, he should still realize that if people are unable to identify what he says as sarcasm, it could have harmful side effects. After Trump’s injection of disinfectant comment, two men in Georgia were hospitalized for drinking cleaning chemicals.  

I understand that during these times it is adding a lot of pressure on President Trump, but he should still be especially careful with his wording and credibility. He has a whole host of advisors and consulting health officials for a reason. Also lack of trustworthiness in our President is not a very good sign that he will stay the president.