'What changed my mind? 120,000 deaths': Ex-Trump voters say his handling of COVID-19 finally broke them
Donald Trump (Olivier Douliery:AFP)

The New York Times has profiled several people who supported President Donald Trump in 2016 but who now say they will not back him in 2020.


Although many of these voters cited myriad reasons for their disaffection with the president, one common theme that popped up was his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What changed my mind? 120,000 deaths," said 55-year-old Pennsylvania resident John Crilly. “He refused to realize, ‘Oh my god, there’s a virus coming our way; shouldn’t we do something, guys?’ Covid was the turning point. It’s the thing that touches home with everybody.”

29-year-old Michigan resident Ariel Oakley similarly said Trump's handling of the pandemic had permanently turned her off from his campaign.

"With coronavirus, even just watching the press conferences, having him come out and say it’s all fake,” she said. “I have family who have unfortunately passed away from it.”

North Carolina resident Judith Goines, meanwhile, said that she voted for Trump in 2016 because he wasn't a typical politician, although she conceded that he was an "appalling human being."

But Trump's approach hasn't held up well during national crises, Goines admitted.

"But obviously with the coronavirus and the social unrest we’re dealing with, that’s where you need a politician, somebody with a little bit more couth," she said.