The reality TV president is facing serious crises that are harder and harder to wish away. But this won’t be a wakeup call for Trump or his base
Donald Trump has one particular skill: pretending things are different than they seem. He was never a good businessman, but he was fantastic at playing a good businessman on TV. His coronavirus response has been abysmal, but his public insistence that everything is fine has somehow managed to keep him from losing significant support. Trump’s specialty is PR – spinning bad things rather than doing good things.
But PR can only do so much. Trump has consistently downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic and encouraged people to resist public health measures. He mocked Joe Biden for wearing a mask. Then, having taken few precautions to protect himself or others, he landed in the hospital with Covid-19 and has taken a course of heavy-duty experimental treatment meant for severe cases. He’s also been at the center of an explosion of new positive tests among high-ranking Republicans, including three senators, the former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Trump’s new campaign manager, the White House adviser Hope Hicks, the former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, and White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany. Trump is being criticized for having knowingly exposed staff, donors, and secret service agents to potential infection. Reality has finally caught up with the man who once suggested that “like a miracle, [coronavirus] will disappear”.