It did not take long for the first local Trump worshipper to blame the coronavirus pandemic on China. The reason is clear. Trump’s universally panned response to the pandemic gave Republican strategists the idea that the best chance of improving election year prospects is to divert attention toward China.
The pandemic was not President Trump’s fault. His inability to coordinate a federal response is. Call it Karma. You only have to look toward Germany and South Korea to see how different the outcome in the U.S. could have been had we had swift intervention and competent leadership at a time of crisis.
The current level of unemployment is surpassing that of the Great Depression. The death toll of COVID-19 infections is over 49,000 Americans.
Instead of self-aggrandizing at his daily press briefing, the president would be better served by letting scientists talk. Since his omnipresence in front of cameras began, his disapproval rating has soared: from 45% on the daily Gallup poll on March 22, to 54% on April 14.
It is no wonder that Republican leaders chatter away on Fox News from dawn until dusk, decrying everything from Won Ton soup to chopsticks — xenophobia to shield the president.
But the “hate the Chinese diversion” has already run into strong headwinds. Mitch McConnell’s wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, (known as a bridge to China and her family’s business) can’t be very happy. If she is not happy with their portfolio, neither is Mitch. And then there is Trump himself, who praises President Xi Jinping every other day when he forgets his talking points. The president is frightened that China might further pull the plug on the U.S. economy, and besides, he has an inherent fondness for dictators.