COVID-19: Crisis or Presidential Opportunity?
Every single day, the United States faces new challenges as we are forced to adapt to life during a pandemic. With the 2020 presidential election just on the horizon, Biden and Trump supporters continue to remain confident in their selected candidate, while undoubtedly trying to navigate life on a day-to-day basis.
Trump continues to send out his condolences to those affected by COVID-19, paying tribute to essential workers with a heavy heart. But is a national emergency just what Trump needed to secure another presidential term?
It is no secret that during a national crisis, the President is the face of security for those struggling to get by with each passing day. It was seen in the concluding months of World War II, when Harry S. Truman’s ratings came in at a shockingly high 89 percent in June of 1945. This trend — known as “rallying around the flag” — again took form as President George W. Bush’s approval ratings hit a record-breaking 90 percent in the months following the tragic events of 9/11.
This pandemic seems to come at a strikingly opportune time for President Donald J. Trump.
At the onset of the year 2020, the public’s concern was in a far different place. Trump had earned his spot in textbooks as the third president in the history of the U.S. to be impeached, as citizens questioned the constitutionality of his past interactions with Russia.
Weeks later, President Trump executed an attack on Baghdad International Airport of Iraq. Rumors of a third World War circulated all platforms of social media, as a sense of panic and fear consumed populations.
With the election less than a year away, Donald Trump was indubitably in a compromised position.
However, this was all before the life altering reality of COVID-19 swept across our nation.
Joe Biden is facing unprecedented political complications, as he struggles to keep his political campaign afloat from the safety of his own home. He can no longer make appearances to draw together big crowds of people, uniting them under his vision for the United States.
The overwhelming surge of COVID-19 news coverage is suppressing Biden’s ability to be heard.
Along with Biden, the Democratic party is being suppressed by the nation’s current state of emergency. The Democratic Convention is essential for the party, as it draws individuals together under one candidate. So, with the event being postponed, there is a sense of uncertainty in the air.
Meanwhile, President Trump is being heard very clearly by citizens across the U.S. as he makes appearances on televisions, computers and iPads daily. His constant debriefing of action being taken to combat the coronavirus is serving as political advertising in his favor.
The mere presence of Donald Trump is compensating for the absence of Joe Biden and impacting Americans.
Additionally, a central question of debate between Democrats and Republicans is the principle of whether healthcare is a human right or not. This debate was completely disrupted, as Trump has been signing relief bills in order to aid the country in this time of suffering. The focus has now shifted to the Trump administration’s ability to hold money when citizens feel healthcare systems direly need it.
While windows of opportunity for all people in the United States are being shut, Trump’s window is growing increasingly wider. President Trump is a businessman who prides himself on his ability to work with the economy and the COVID-19 crisis allows him to do just that. To all parties and demographics, the economy has become a paramount worry.
Just as presidents have done in the past, Trump’s approval ratings have managed to rise during this state of emergency. Although they have not remained on a steady incline, Trump’s job approval ratings now stand 5 percent higher — as of April — than they did at the start of the pandemic affecting the United States.
So as we all reflect on who is being heavily impacted by the coronavirus, the President of the United States undoubtedly crosses our minds. The real question lies in just how Trump is being affected.
Is President Donald Trump suffering along with the rest of the country, or is he silently observing as mention of his impeachment gets washed over, the Democratic party struggles to stay afloat and his approval ratings slowly rise?
Is President Trump benefiting from COVID-19?
With an election approaching in November, it is our responsibility as citizens of the United States to reflect on our own fundamental beliefs. Regardless of the pandemic, we must utilize our right to vote with our individual political views — not a crisis-fueled puppet show — and the betterment of the nation in mind.
KJ is a freshman studying Journalism and Strategic Communications. Do you think the pandemic benefits Trump’s reelection bid? Send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.orgSubscribe to The Daily Cardinal Newsletter