Like many, I awoke this morning to the shocking news that United States President Donald Trump, and his wife, had tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus. I’m in no way a big fan of the current president, his policies, his demeanour, what he has done to abase the highest office in the land, are all part of why I dislike him. But did the news of his illness make me happy? Certainly not. I sincerely hope that he and the first lady both make full recoveries.
That being said, one has to wonder at the timing of the announcement. Forty-eight hours earlier the president had not only been trounced by Joe Biden in a debate, but managed to make a fool of himself in the process. The constant media analysis and regurgitation of that debate couldn’t have pleased him. How to change the news cycle?
Would it be beneath the president of the United States of America to use a pandemic to try to bolster his numbers? Not this president.
Going into the debate last Tuesday many polls had Biden with a comfortable lead. Trump’s performance can only have caused that gap to grow. Yet I recall four years ago at this time when Hilary Clinton seemed to be cruising to victory. We all know how that turned out.
Would it be beneath the president of the United States of America to use a pandemic to try to bolster his numbers? Not this president. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who wished Trump a speedy recovery, was originally, like Trump, one who played down COVID-19. That was, of course, until he contracted the virus, was hospitalized and, thankfully, recovered. When Johnson left hospital and eventually returned to Parliament, he was a changed person. His view of the virus was changed – how could it not be?
Trump is a lover of the phrase ‘Fake News’. I don’t think it is beyond him to use fake news to his own end.
My hunch is that Trump hopes to make a full recovery (if, indeed, he really is ill) with enough time before the November election to tout his ability to beat the virus.
Wouldn’t his base just love that? Even the alleged killer of over one million people worldwide couldn’t harm our man would be their approach. Trump will appear at rallies, the man who beat COVID-19 (even if he also denied its existence, but then again his base members have short memories). He’ll become the pandemic Golden Boy, surely Sleepy Joe Biden could never have shaken off the ‘Chinese Flu’.
I hope I’m wrong. I hope the First Couple have very mild cases and are back in no time. But I still have my doubts. Trump is a lover of the phrase ‘Fake News’. I don’t think it is beyond him to use fake news to his own end.