Writing in the Washington Post this Tuesday, Helaine Olen mentions how as a child, President Trump attended the church of Norman Vincent Peale, who authored the book, The Power of Positive Thinking.
"Positive thinking can’t stop a global pandemic," Olen writes. "But that hasn’t stopped the president from trying frantically to talk up the economy and talk down coronavirus, without taking practical steps to prevent and mitigate the situation at hand."
Now, according to Olen, Trump's positive thinking approach to tackling the coronavirus has "infected the Republican mind." This is evidenced by a recent poll that found around two-thirds of Democrats are concerned they or someone close to them will come down with coronavirus, as opposed to around one-third of Republicans who say the same. But the hopeful approach of some Republicans doesn't change the reality that the U.S. is woefully short on coronavirus testing kits.
"Trump has proclaimed that 'Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on,'" writes Olen. "But that raises the question of why he believes schools are shutting down and companies are asking employees to work at home. The Monday he made that announcement, the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq fell more than 7 percent. Investors, it seems, are reacting more to the obvious facts of the disease than to the denial, avoidance and lies Trump has put on display. Markets regained some of the losses Tuesday morning, only to quickly give them back up. It’s clear investors and traders remain jittery."
Olen accuses Trump of getting away with depending on positive thinking his entire life, not because it works, "but because over and over again, enablers stepped forward to bail him out and give him another chance."
Unfortunately, as Olen contends, infectious and viral diseases don’t respond to alternative facts and magical thinking.
Read her full op-ed over at the Washington Post.