All of this works to Trump’s advantage. Whether it will be a short-term gain or actually help him win re-election is far too soon to say. The political implications of the coronavirus, just like the spread of the disease itself, are fluid and fast-moving. What has helped Trump and hurt Biden this week could very easily boomerang in the next.
And the pressure to get the response right is entirely on Trump. He has to successfully negotiate the transition of the economy from shutdown to rebooting, deal with the recurring unemployment spike, then perhaps the re-emergence of the virus later in the year.
Biden doesn’t have to do any of these things. He merely has to play the role of critic-in-chief — nitpick Trump and claim that he could have done things better.
But what has to hearten Trump at this point is that the Biden campaign is managing to screw up this most basic task. Trump didn’t make Biden look like a fool this week. Biden did that to himself, all by himself.