It’s a pattern that has repeated itself throughout Trump’s presidency in which Trump grasps for new ideas (often by what he sees on television), shortcuts and anything that can deliver hope and high ratings as the clock nears six months to the election. And those who know the president best say that even a crisis that has devastated American families and brought the economy to a standstill has hardly changed him at all.

“He continues to lead by floating trial balloons, gauging how those trial balloons are being received and then adjusting along the way,” said a person close to the White House. “He launches the trial balloons as he sees fit and then the adjustment comes after everyone starts chiming in after being sort of blindsided by the original trial balloon.”…

Former Trump officials also said a big problem in his response is that he is not relying much on data but instead is using what he’s previously called “his very, very large brain.” At a briefing in mid-April, he pointed to his head when asked the metrics he would use to decide when to reopen the economy.

“He’s a gut guy that doesn’t like a lot of detail on stuff, so that’s why he runs with the hydroxychloroquine thing working because ‘Hey, that’s a good one, I have a good feeling about that,’” said a former senior Trump administration official.