President Trump is facing an unprecedented global pandemic that has shut down commerce and relegated us all to life in quarantine for the foreseeable future. So…how is he doing?
This is an ideal time to assess his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. I, for one, think he is performing admirably and Americans generally agree with me. A new poll conducted by The Hill found that 50% of Americans approve of his handling of the crisis.
It hasn’t been a flawless performance, but considering the circumstances, Trump has shown strong leadership in the face of an invisible enemy.
Let’s start with the bad. The response to the virus was delayed by inadequate amounts of testing kits. Many Americans, myself included, who showed symptoms were unable to get tested. The CDC dropped the ball on this one. Trump can’t be held completely responsible, but it did happen under his watch.
The country has finally caught up to the demand for testing kits and just today it was announced that the United States has surpassed South Korea in the number of tests that have been performed. South Korea has been the gold standard of testing to this point.
The only other critique I have of Trump’s approach is his rhetoric about the virus during the earlier stages of the spread. He sounded as if he was downplaying the severity of the virus, but once he saw the data that pointed to the severity of the outbreak, he changed course and began to sound the right notes.
Now to the good things he has done. The president put together a coronavirus task force that is being led by Vice President Mike Pence. The vice president has done an admirable job and has conveyed a calming influence to an anxious nation.
The president has listened to his medical experts on the task force and has implemented policies that encourage social distancing and good hygiene. He has provided assistance to the states who have been most affected and has shown that he is capable of working with Democratic governors to protect the health of the American people.
He has worked with private industry to coordinate the response to the virus. Several companies, including the likes of Walmart, CVS, Apple, and Amazon, have all pledged their support by producing essential medical equipment and opening their parking lots up for drive-thru testing. The president hasn’t had to invoke the Defense Production Act that would require private businesses to produce essential goods for the effort because they have voluntarily rerouted their operations for the good of the country. That’s a win for the cause of private industry everywhere.
Trump has been on the job around the clock and has addressed the nation from the White House every single day. His performance during these briefings has become must-watch tv. The president has shown noticeable calmness and has been less bombastic than we are accustomed to. He once said that he would be so presidential we would all be bored of him. Well, he’s finally showing that he can be presidential, but it isn’t boring in the slightest.
Watching him spar with the media has been entertaining. He isn’t looking for a fight with them but, when they unjustly accuse of him of wrongdoings, he rightfully retaliates by putting them in their place. Our media is showing its true colors. Left-wing journalists are more concerned with inflicting political pain on the president than obtaining information that is pertinent to the health of the American people.
Trump understands that public health is paramount but that the nation also needs to open up for business before we descend into a government-induced depression. He deserves credit for discussing how to thread that delicate needle. He hopes to have the country open again by Easter. That might be too optimistic, but it is a worthy goal.
The president comes from the business world and is not a lifetime politician. In business, you have to be a good problem solver; those problem-solving skills have come in handy during this crisis. Trump has rewritten the playbook on how to respond to a national emergency that will benefit the nation long after he has left the White House. This likely will go down as the defining moment of his presidency. Never in American history has a president faced a public health emergency of this magnitude. If this is a test, the president has been passing with flying colors.