Op-eds and Articles

Donald Trump’s legacy is truth decay

By / 5.8.2020

Our country is reeling under the dual onslaught of COVID-19 and runaway unemployment, but there’s one person who’s willing to give President Trump high marks for handling the situation: Donald Trump. “I think in a certain way, maybe our best work has been on what we’ve done with COVID-19,” he mused in an interview this week.

Most Americans disagree with Trump’s generous self-appraisal. “Since March 20, President Donald Trump’s net approval rating (approval minus disapproval) for his coronavirus response has dropped 23 points, settling at a new low of minus 9 this week,” reports Morning Consult, which tracks public opinion on the crisis daily.

“The president’s failure to maintain public confidence in recent weeks stands in contrast with a number of other world leaders, who benefited from significant approval rating improvements in the wake of the pandemic,” Consult adds. Other polls also show that Americans express much more confidence in their governors than in Trump when it comes to combatting COVID-19 and reopening the economy.

The truth is, COVID-19 is fast becoming Trump’s Vietnam War — the defining debacle of his presidency. Even more than impeachment, it poses a mortal threat to Trump’s reelection in the fall. He and his allies know that, which is why the country should brace for a furious propaganda campaign from Trump, GOP SuperPacs, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republicans’ house organ, Fox “News.”

It will be a cynical exercise in instant historical revisionism. Trump and his minions will recast his fumbling response to the virus as decisive leadership that saved “millions of American lives.” It could have been worse, we’ll be told, and that much will be true, because with Trump at the helm it could always be worse.

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