Speed Reads

COVID in the White House

Trump aides reportedly think he'll 'face a harsh judgment from voters' after COVID-19 diagnosis

Aides to President Trump reportedly believe he'll "face a harsh judgment from voters" after contracting COVID-19.

After Trump announced that he and first lady Melania Trump had both tested positive for COVID-19, The New York Times reported that "strategists in both parties and even senior aides to Mr. Trump said the president would face a harsh judgment from voters for throwing the country into greater uncertainty after one of the most trying years in American history."

The Times goes on to report that advisers to Trump acknowledge that his positive diagnosis will "remind voters of how dismissive" he has been about the coronavirus. "Mr. Trump's recklessness, one adviser admitted, amounted to a political 'disaster,'" the Times writes. Trump has continued to hold large rallies amid the pandemic and rarely worn a mask, and he told journalist Bob Woodward that he wanted to downplay the risks of COVID-19.

Democratic pollster Geoff Garin told the Times that Trump "is now in the position of becoming exhibit No. 1 for the failure of his leadership on coronavirus, and he runs the risk that his supporters will feel misled by his dismissiveness of the virus and the need for precautions," while Republican consultant Rob Stutzman told the Times that "it's hard to imagine this doesn't end his hopes of re-election."

Ultimately, the Times writes that Trump's "personal indifference toward the virus could threaten his own health, the stability of the country and his already dimming hopes for re-election."