People For the American Way

Falsehoods and Failures: Trump During COVID-19 (4/17 Update)

News and Analysis
Falsehoods and Failures: Trump During COVID-19 (4/17 Update)

During another week in which Americans across the country struggled for their lives and livelihoods, Donald Trump frittered away valuable time by obsessing over his image and the pandemic’s effect on his reelection prospects. When the country is most in need of a unifier-in-chief, Trump continues to sow discord and mine conflict whenever and wherever he deems it to be in his favor.

The Trump White House and its Republican allies seem determined to undermine subject matter experts at every turn, creating an intellectual vacuum that Trump attempts to fill with his political agenda rather than data and facts. The stories we’ve collected this week illustrate all this and create a stark picture of a president who is incapable of reining in his own temperament in order to do what’s best for this country and its people.

  • Trump’s normally reliable allies in the business community have begun to push back against his recent actions, particularly his moves towards prematurely opening the economy. On a call designed to curry favor with and establish his alliance with business leaders, Trump received significant skepticism and pushback for his overly aggressive timeline, making it seem unlikely that they will back him should he go forward with removing federal social distancing guidelines by May 1.
  • In an especially self-serving move that wasted valuable time in getting relief to millions, Trump made a deal with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to have his name printed on the coronavirus stimulus checks being sent to Americans, despite the fact that the president can’t be an official signer on Treasury Department checks. The Internal Revenue Service team in charge of dispensing the checks has had to race to print Trump’s name on the memo line, so Trump can use relief allocated by Congress as a campaign tool.

Sen. Lindsey Graham recently told Trump that this November, “your opponent is no longer Joe Biden – it’s this virus.” However, pandemics are not political opponents and they don’t respond to bullying, lying, or misdirection. Trump can’t beat the coronavirus into submission, and while he tries to do so, he’s forcing millions of Americans to suffer far greater harm.


Congress, Constitution, Constitution reading, coronavirus, covid-19, Defeat Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Election 2020, election security, Environment, Falsehoods and Failures, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, republicans, Senate Republicans, Steven Mnuchin, Vote By Mail, voting rights, World Health Organization