First, the ability to handle a possible medical crisis and the hard choices the triage of limited supplies would then force on us will leave a lasting impact with the American public. Second, the economic consequences spreading through U.S. cities and towns will force Republicans in government to choose between saying this is all partisan hype and executing a plan to protect the gains of the last three years. Third, the potential medical scare lends rhetorical energy to a number of Democrat talking points they’re guaranteed to use in the general election…

So what does Trump have in his pocket? First, his hawkish push to bring American manufacturing home from countries like China looks near prophetic in the face of the country’s responsibility for yet another global pandemic as well as the looming medical supply shortages from Chinese producers. Second, his focus on securing the border is empowered– especially when contrasted with increasingly shrill Democratic calls against any enforcement at all. Finally, his quick move to curtail Chinese nationals from traveling to the United States slowed the virus’s move here a great deal despite, for example, the obscene New York Times claim actions targeting the host country are “xenophobic.”