Coronavirus: Crisis brings Donald Trump the fight of his political life

Coronavirus: Crisis brings Donald Trump the fight of his political life, by Cameron Stewart.

In one of the more bizarre moments of his presidency, Trump hijacked his own coronavirus task force press conference for 45 minutes to defend his political performance as president in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. …

He remained silent about his continued attempts to play down the threat in late February and early March – the period of inaction which health experts say has contributed to the country’s grim and fast-rising death toll of more than 23,000 Americans, the highest in the world.

When Trump was questioned about this obvious omission by reporters in the White House press room he called his questioners “disgraceful” and “fakes.” …

Why is Trump so angry? It’s because he knows he cannot afford to let this developing narrative stand and still hope to win re-election in November.

He is coming out swinging to try to persuade Americans, and especially his base, that he has acted as the self-described wartime leader he promised he would be in this moment of crisis.

This is the battle of Trump’s political life. The body count is rising fast and his poll ratings are falling. Americans have been shocked by scenes of hospitals being overrun, of body-bags being piled on top of each other in refrigerated trucks. …

Trump’s response to such questions has been pure Trump. Rather than accept any blame, he has accused everyone but himself for America’s current predicament – from China to the World Health Organisation to the Democrats, the media, the state Governors and Barack Obama.

“We have done a job the likes of which nobody has ever done,” he said.

And Scott Morrison? And all over the West? Complacent and self-absorbed leadership. If they’d being paying attention and closed the borders earlier, this calamity would not have befallen us.