On Monday, The Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump's allies were unable to get him to correct his own mistakes on the coronavirus pandemic — until they presented him with data showing that his own voters were at risk.
"People close to Trump, many speaking anonymously to share candid discussions and impressions, say the president’s inability to wholly address the crisis is due to his almost pathological unwillingness to admit error; a positive feedback loop of overly rosy assessments and data from advisers and Fox News; and a penchant for magical thinking that prevented him from fully engaging with the pandemic," reported Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker.
"Some aides and outside advisers have, in fact, tried to stress to Trump and others in his orbit that before he could move on to reopening the economy and getting the country back to work — and life — he needed to grapple with the reality of the virus," said the report. "But until recently, the president was largely unreceptive to that message, they said, not fully grasping the magnitude of the pandemic — and overly preoccupied with his own sense of grievance, beginning many conversations casting himself as the blameless victim of the crisis."
"In the past couple of weeks, senior advisers began presenting Trump with maps and data showing spikes in coronavirus cases among 'our people' in Republican states, a senior administration official said," continued the report. "They also shared projections predicting that virus surges could soon hit politically important states in the Midwest — including Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, the official said. This new approach seemed to resonate, as he hewed closely to pre-scripted remarks in a trio of coronavirus briefings last week.
Trump's acceptance of this new information coincides with a shift in White House strategy on the pandemic, with the president resuming press briefings and urging people to wear masks — although he has continued to say that he wants schools to reopen quickly.
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