Regardless of his claims that the novel coronavirus was a hoax and pretend information; regardless of his insistence that covid-19 was identical to the flu and would go away; regardless of his refusal to just accept any accountability for the following unfold of coronavirus all through america; regardless of his kneecapping of the federal authorities’s capacity to reply and his refusal to throw the total weight of the federal government behind efforts to maintain individuals secure; regardless of the failure to obtain exams at the same time as he knew what was coming; regardless of the rising variety of deaths; regardless of the hospitals which can be already overwhelmed; regardless of the determined pleas from medical employees for primary provides; regardless of his predictable flip to overt racism; and regardless of his growing willingness to sacrifice a whole lot of 1000’s of Individuals to appease the inventory market, the one god he acknowledges apart from himself, it’s changing into clear that Donald Trump might be getting away with this.

Escaping accountability, in any case, has been Trump’s biggest trick throughout his time in workplace, one which now has penalties at a scale nearly incomprehensible to the human thoughts. Each downside is a public relations downside to Trump, a person who views his actions solely via the lens of approval rankings and his re-election possibilities. And thru his every day briefings and his tweets, he has been making an attempt to rewrite recent history in real-time via his bully pulpit, hoping {that a} sustained PR marketing campaign by which he continues to spew a wealth of lies and misinformation will make individuals overlook his huge incompetence and see him, as improbably because it appears, as a person able to rising to the second.

Trump solely is aware of a technique to reply to a menace—to deflect blame. And he’s following his basic playbook, blaming the spread of coronavirus on everybody from the Chinese language authorities to Barack Obama to undocumented immigrants. Now prevented from holding his marketing campaign rallies, he’s utilizing the coronavirus pandemic as a type of shadow marketing campaign, doubling down on the purple meat that his base loves in his every day coronavirus activity drive briefings; he’s doubtless delighted that they’re broadcast to an viewers of thousands and thousands. The message has not deviated all that a lot: The information media is corrupt and pushing “faux information,” foreigners are unhealthy and the borders have to be closed, and he’s taking decisive motion.

And it appears an growing variety of Individuals (unsurprisingly, principally along partisan lines) are falling for it. The PR marketing campaign is working, largely propped up by a rightwing propaganda machine whose seemingly sole motive for existence is to glorify their dictator in chief, two parasites who feed off of one another in an infinite bloodsucking loop. But it surely’s not simply the rightwing spin machine that’s working for him—the entire main information and cable networks have been airing his daily briefings live, giving him the platform he needs and one that enables him to cosplay governance. Final Friday, an ABC News/Ipsos poll confirmed that greater than half of all Individuals—55 p.c—authorized of the way in which that Donald Trump is responding to the unfold of coronavirus, up from solely 43 p.c who agreed along with his response only one week prior. A Monmouth ballot launched on Monday confirmed the same uptick, with 50 p.c of individuals surveyed replying that Trump has achieved a “good job” responding to the epidemic and 45 p.c disagreeing; based on a Gallup ballot released on Tuesday, 60 p.c of Individuals approve of how Trump has dealt with the disaster.

These shifts in opinion coincided with Trump lastly, in his public statements, pivoting from describing the coronavirus as a “hoax” and “faux information” to a disaster that he was—lastly, totally too belatedly, and sure towards his will—taking significantly. Even CNN’s Dana Bash fell prey, praising Trump after his briefing final Tuesday: “He’s being the sort of chief that individuals want, no less than in tone, at this time, and yesterday, in tone that individuals want and wish and yearn for in instances of disaster and uncertainty.”

Bash was broadly criticized for her admiration, which solely is sensible if one is beginning, as we’re, from fairly probably the bottom bar on the earth. However judging by the polls, it’s clear she’s not the one one who thinks Trump is displaying some type of management, as if merely sounding presidential (which might be debated, to place it mildly) is the essence of being president, the variety of chilly our bodies in morgues be damned.

Maybe this may change because the covid-19 outbreak unfolds and the our bodies begin piling up; public well being specialists and epidemiologists warn the hospitalizations and the deaths will speed up for weeks even within the best-case situation. We’re, proper now, in that unusual second once we see what’s coming and but, too many, drunk off of the spin, merely don’t imagine that the wave will crest over them. Maybe this may change as Trump continues to overtly embrace the Republican demise cult and its eugenic logic of brutal effectivity, which idolizes the financial system above all and sees the aged, the disabled, the homeless, the sick as disposable, their lives, as Larry Kudlow put it not too long ago, merely a “tough tradeoff.”

On Tuesday, the president retreated to the secure house of Fox Information, the place he held a city corridor along with his coronavirus activity drive, minus Anthony Fauci who was notably absent. Trump repeatedly said the necessity for individuals to return to work and shortly and that he needs to have the nation “opened up” by Easter— statements which can be at odds with what public well being officers have instructed us is important to sluggish the unfold however that make excellent, horrific sense if one is keen, even keen, to sacrifice untold lives on the altar of an unsure financial restoration that doubtless wouldn’t even manifest.

However at the same time as his actions, or inaction, consign individuals to die, at the same time as he behaves precisely how many people feared and warned a Trump presidency would deal with a disaster, it could not matter. I desperately hope I’m flawed.