June 2020 will go down in history as a month in which the coronavirus death toll continued to soar in the United States while the country was rocked by double-digit unemployment and huge protests in response to the horrific killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. And according to New York Times reporters Maggie Haberman, Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, it will also go down in history as a terrible month for President Donald Trump and his reelection campaign.
In an article published on July 2, the Times reporters delve into some of the reasons why Trump’s campaign fared so badly in June — and one of the main reasons is his erratic response to the coronavirus pandemic. In June, the COVID-19 death count passed 100,000 in the U.S.; by July 3, it was up to up to 128,740, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Worldwide, the pandemic has killed more than 521,800 people.
“The disconnect between the surge in coronavirus cases and Mr. Trump’s dismissive stance toward the pandemic has been particularly pronounced, mystifying Democrats and Republicans alike,” Haberman, Martin and Burns explain. “This week, as some states halted their reopening because of a record-setting number of new cases, the president predicted the virus would “just disappear.”
June was also a terrible month for Trump because of his consistently bad poll numbers.
“In addition to public surveys showing him losing decisively to Joseph R. Biden, Jr. in a number of battleground states,” the Times journalists note, “private Republican polls in recent weeks show the president struggling even in conservative states, leading Mr. Biden by less than five points in Montana and trailing him in Georgia and even Kansas, according to GOP officials who have seen the data.”
Haberman, Martin and Burns point out that Trump’s other “missteps” in June range from his “inflammatory response to racial justice protesters” to his “ill-considered rally in Tulsa.” For their article, the Times interviewed more than 45 Republican strategists and officials — some of whom are in the Trump Administration — and they found a mood of despair and frustration.
“Letting Trump be Trump will delight some of his most committed supporters,” the Times reporters note, “but it is likely to dishearten Republicans who are already nervous about losing the Senate and yielding further ground in the House.”
One Republican who has been sounding the alarm, according to the Times, is former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — who has warned that Trump will lose to Biden if he continues to campaign like it’s still 2016. And Sen. Mitt Romney is also warning that Trump is dropping the ball.
“What I find hard to understand is that in order for the president to get reelected, he’s going to want to see a really strong economy,” Romney asserted. “So, I would think the president would be on the air hammering his base to get the economy back and win the election.”
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In his column for the Daily Beast, Tomasky pointed to comments the president made during a town hall on ABC about the pandemic that he claims showed the president wants nothing more than to move on from talking about those who have died, calling Trump an "embarrassment" to himself.