During an interview with a local television station in North Carolina on Monday evening, President Donald Trump suggested he was one of the most successful chief executives this country has ever seen.
“Nobody’s accomplished more in the first three-and-a-half years than I have,” Trump told a reporter from NBC station affiliate WRAL, without providing details about which accomplishments he had in mind.
“I’m not sure I could have done any more, because we’ve really done a lot,” the president added. “We’ve done, I think, more than any administration has ever done in the first three-and-a-half years, and nobody even challenges that.”
Trump was also asked whether he would have done anything differently if he could relive the past four or five months of the coronavirus. But he largely avoided answering the question, responding instead about his closing off travel from China as evidence of his doing well.
However, most Americans give Trump negative marks when it comes to his response to COVID-19, with 68 percent in a recent Associated Press/NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll stating they disapprove of how he’s handled the crisis compared to 32 percent who say they approve.
In a broader sense, that same poll found that most Americans were upset with his time as president in general. Just 38 percent said he was doing a good job, while 61 percent gave him negative marks.
Trump also touted how well he’s handled the economy, blaming recent downturns in the market on the coronavirus pandemic, which he called a “plague from China” during the interview, despite advice from medical experts not to describe COVID-19 in such terms.
But even on that metric, Americans are starting to sour on Trump. For most of his time in office, the president has been given credit from voters for what appears to most to be good economic outcomes (even though, as many have pointed out, positive economic indicators began long before he took office). But when it comes to the economy, the U.S. population is now split, with 51 percent saying they disapprove of how Trump has performed on the issue, and 48 percent saying they approve.
It’s not unusual for Trump to tout himself, even while doing poorly in the eyes of the American public. In mid-March, after he finally relented and decided to take action on the coronavirus pandemic (following weeks of inaction when he kept ridiculing it as a “hoax” used against him politically), the president was asked by reporters in the White House to rate his response to the crisis on a scale of 1 to 10.
“I’d rate it a 10, I think we’ve done a great job,” Trump said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there have been more than 4.4 million cumulative cases of COVID-19 reported in the United States, with nearly 151,000 having died as a result of the disease.