On one side are those like Bill Mitchell, who dismiss it as nothing worse than the flu, and the drive to eradicate it as “climate change 2.0” — as in, a media-lefty mass hysteria. On the other side are pro-Trump fixtures like Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller, who had been sounding the alarms on the coronavirus since January, and are calling for harsher lockdowns and urging social distancing.

While the MAGA movement is divided over how seriously to take the coronavirus threat or how to tackle it, the message among his supporters is increasingly unanimous: If Trump fails to control the virus, prevent its spread and prove his leadership, much less save the economy, he will lose the election and cripple his movement…

The divide was in stark contrast on Fox News last week, as the crisis snowballed into the public eye. One host, Tucker Carlson, delivered grave warnings about the coronavirus. He accused officials — who his conservative audience “probably voted for” — of minimizing “what is clearly a very serious problem.” Another host, Sean Hannity, called it “fear-mongering by the deep state.”

Across Trump world are other attempts to deflect blame — following an approach used by the president himself in recent weeks, as he attacked the Obama administration and others outside his administration for his team’s response.