It’s bizarre to see the same people warning that Trump would operate an authoritarian regime now complaining that he isn’t being authoritarian enough. In addition to the robust federal response we’ve seen thus far, the president has been working on partnerships with private companies, whether that means having Google’s parent company develop a national website for coronavirus screenings or using Walmart parking lots for drive-through testing.
Perhaps the biggest threat to Trump’s re-election is the economic devastation facing millions of Americans as a result of the societal shutdown. The Trump campaign has long planned on running on the economy — it’s his biggest accomplishment, is wholly nonpartisan, and could play a big role in convincing undecided voters. In just a couple of weeks, the stock market gains under Trump have been erased. Experts expect the unemployment rate to jump as high as six percent and for the economy to shed millions of jobs over the next several months. That being said, many economists predicted a recession wasn’t far off to begin with. A global pandemic may be the one justifiable reason people wouldn’t blame Trump for an economic crash. Americans will be thinking about who can guide the economy back on track after the coronavirus threat has diminished — certainly Trump has a good track record. And how much more disastrous would the losses be if the fundamentals of the economy weren’t already so strong?