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President Trump could still come to the rescue

October 2, 2020

Topics: Quote of the Day

By Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman and Matt Stevens
The New York Times, October 2, 2020

President Trump’s announcement early Friday that he had contracted the coronavirus upended the presidential race in an instant, inviting significant questions about his cavalier attitude toward the pandemic and the future of his campaign just 32 days before the election.

Mr. Trump had already been trailing in the polls to Joseph R. Biden Jr., in part because of his mishandling of a virus that has unsettled the day-to-day lives of voters for over six months. He compounded his difficulties by disregarding and at times belittling the basic precautions, such as wearing a mask, that his health advisers were urging Americans to take to protect themselves.

Now, though, his personal indifference toward the virus could threaten his own health, the stability of the country and his already dimming hopes for re-election.

After the coronavirus shut down the country in March, though, Mr. Trump finally ran headlong into a foe that could not be attacked, ignored or fully overwhelmed with his usual tactics.

Yet that did not stop him from trying to effectively will it away. Not only did he repeatedly predict that the virus would fade on its own, he has also consistently minimized the threat, prodding states, schools, businesses and even athletic teams to return to normal.

Not only has he defied the advice of his health advisers on masks, he has also repeatedly mocked the practice, putting him out of step with the majority of the country and even some in his party.


NYT Reader Comment:

By Don McCanne, M.D.

Although President Trump has always been reluctant to admit an error in judgment, he has the opportunity to save perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives by doing so now. He should be frank with his ardent supporters as he explains to them why they and the rest of us must follow the science in extinguishing this scourge. Making a dent in the economy is a small price to pay for preserving human life on a wholesale basis.


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About the Commentator, Don McCanne

Don McCanne is a retired family practitioner who dedicated the 2nd phase of his career to speaking and writing extensively on single payer and related issues. He served as Physicians for a National Health Program president in 2002 and 2003, then as Senior Health Policy Fellow. For two decades, Don wrote "Quote of the Day", a daily health policy update which inspired HJM.

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