As Donald Trump falls in public opinion surveys, that descent is directly tied to his handling, or more accurately, his mishandling, of the Covid-19 crisis. In the early days of the pandemic that reached the United States, people had not formulated an opinion about his performance to the virus. But now that we see what he has been promoting as a response to the crisis, it's put on full display how unqualified and inept Trump is when it comes to leading the country.
A Fountain of Misinformation
From early in this crisis, Trump has downplayed the severity of the virus. He tried to sell it as not a big deal and that it was just a few cases that would go away on its own or when it got warmer out. Well into March, he continued holding rallies and kept on visiting his golf courses at taxpayers expense as the virus exploded.
He pushed for unproven drugs such as Hydroxychloroquine to be taken and then on national television in front of the whole world, pushed the idea of injecting disinfectant.
For a timeline of some of Trump's misleading statements pertaining to Covid-19, you can see them in a timeline at Congressman Lloyd Doggett of the very red state of Texas.
A Danger to Americans
As the pandemic began to spread, Trump abdicated responsibility as commander-in-chief and decided to let governors handle the outbreak. Meanwhile, as states with Democratic leaders aimed to implement stay-at-home orders to diminish the spread of the virus, Trump tweeted out "Liberate Minnesota!" "Liberate Michigan!" and "Liberate Virginia!"
Without a strong economy, Trump knows his re-election chances are slim. Most of his decisions regarding Covid-19 are in the best interests of the economy and not for the safety of Americans.
The result in Michigan was armed citizens protesting the orders at the capitol, most without masks. Trump completely undermined the governors of these states to propose fighting measures that were lauded by most medical professionals.
All during this time, Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence refused to take the simplest of safety measures, wear protective masks. Across the country, as businesses started to make it a requirement in their stores, there would be videos of Trump supporters being confronted and then angrily retorting that mask wearing was a violation of their rights.
Then, in early May, Trump began pushing for the economy to reopen. Cases had begun to decrease, but the CDC had certain guidelines that were recommended to reach before safely reopening. Fearing that he was losing his most vital selling point for re-election - the economy - Trump began to promote going back to work and reopening states.
States like Georgia and Florida followed his lead and went with aggressive plans, with Florida being accused or adjusting Covid-19 data to allow them to reach CDC guidelines. By mid-July, Florida had become the new epicenter of the virus.
In June, Trump held his first rally since March, in Tulsa. From video, you can see that few were wearing masks as they were not required and that instead of socially distancing, Trump supporters were packed into a small section of the arena for better optics.
After Trump's rally, there was a Covid-19 case spike in Tulsa and eight members of Trump's campaign staff, as well as former presidential nominee Herman Cain contracting the virus at the event.
Did any of this deter Trump? Of course not as he announced plans to hold his next rally in New Hampshire in July, which he eventually had to cancel, likely due to poor turnout.
Trump's Pushing to Reopen Schools
After the early openings of Florida and Georgia and the huge spike of Covid-19 cases there, you'd think that Trump would have wanted to be a little more cautious with any more plans to reopen things. You would be wrong.
As the country headed into mid-July, Trump began pushing for schools and colleges to open up again. The rise in cases in the southern part of the country was attributed to younger people ignoring CDC guildelines for social distancing and mask wearing. So, when discovering this, Trump's solution is to cram people into classrooms for seven hours a day. Meanwhile, it was announced that the school where his own teenage child attends will not be having in-person instruction this fall.
So, what Trump is saying is that while he doesn't feel it's safe for his own child to receive in-person instruction, he has no problem putting your children in danger.
On top of that, you had Betsy DaVos made the statement that it's likely only going to be .02 percent of the children that die from going back to school in the fall. In doing the math, that means the Trump administration is willing to accept the deaths of nearly 15,000 children this fall - just so long as it's not his own child, of course.
Major League Baseball opened their shortened season in mid-July and in only four days, one team had a 19-case outbreak. This is one of the wealthiest leagues in America that can afford the best safety measures. Now imagine what's going to happen when children are back in classrooms, or young people are in dorms.
Team Trump Undermining the Experts
As Trump's failures are on full display, Trump has fallen back to one of his reliable game plans - lie about it.
First, team Trump has begun a smear campaign against Dr. Anthony Fauci. Trump often undermines statements Dr. Fauci makes and recently, members of his administration have taken to the media to write op-eds attacking him.
Trump's administration is also trying to control the data that hospitals are reporting, funneling it away from the CDC and keeping it more internalized. The most obvious reason for this is so that they can diminish the data and make it seem like their response is better than it is as that it's safe to implement their economic policies since that's what they hope to cling to for re-election.
All this has done is make Americans more loyal to Dr. Fauci as he has been a straight shooter and has public health as his primary mission while it has always been painfully obvious that Trump and his sycophants have Trump's re-election as their primary mission - not the safety of the American people.
Unable to Grasp the Actual Solution
Time and time again, it's been the policy of Trump and his GOP sycophants to fail to grasp the simple solution that every other country has discovered - that you need to get a handle on the virus in order to move forward.
This view of trying to sell the American people that we just have to live with the dangers, while every other advanced nation has bought into mask wearing, social distancing, and long enough shutdowns to reduce the spread of the virus led to Europe banning us to travel there because we are now a danger.
On July 27, when the GOP Senate announced their proposal for the latest stimulus package, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx) had this to say: "The answer to these challenges will not simply be shoveling cash out of Washington. The answer to these challenges will be getting people back to work."
The actual answer to these challenges would be to diminish the threat to the virus, and then you could safely allow people to get back to work, and to schools.
The very next day, on July 28, according to reporting from Yahoo, Trump's social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube) published a video from right-wing site Breitbart promoting Hydroxychloroquine as a cure for Covid-19 and claiming mask wearing was not necessary to halt the spread of the virus. All three social media platforms pulled the video as 'pushing false information about cures and treatment for Covid-19.'
It's this failure to grasp even the most basic science behind the solution to the virus that Trump puts on display over and over again that has voters convinced he cannot handle this crisis and has no business near the Oval Office.
All of Trump's miscues pertaining to the virus has led to an erosion of his support and a surge for Biden. The above cartoon distinctly describes the Biden campaign's strategy, just to sit back and let Trump be the focal point of the 2020 election. In reality, this election has become a referendum on Trump - a simple yes or no to the tenets of Trumpism.
In that regard, it's becoming quite clear that America is looking to reject an anti-science President that has recently been accused to falsifying his academic records. What this crisis has truly shown is that Trump was not capable of rising to the challenge of protecting Americans.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.