How Trump may have flattened the political curve of coronavirus

But if Americans are able to slow the outbreak of coronavirus — to “flatten the curve” of infection, as epidemiologists say — if equity markets bounce back and the overall hit to the economy is contained, his Rose Garden news conference on Friday could amount to a turning point in which he finally signaled to the public that he would take the threat seriously enough to lead the fight against it.

His relatively somber and focused remarks accompanied a bear hug of congressional Democrats that could help him stabilize his standing if all goes well from here on out. Graded on a curve, Friday was a good day for the president, according to longtime observers of Washington politics.

“America only has one president at a time, and, whatever your partisan affiliation, you should want the one we have to be as efficient and successful as possible — especially in a crisis like this one,” said Michael Steel, a former aide to then-Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.