Most of the American public may not be happy with President Donald Trump’s actions when it comes to how he’s handled the coronavirus pandemic so far, but there’s at least one person who has given him consistent, glowing praise from the start of the crisis: Trump himself.
According to numbers compiled by The New York Times, Trump has given congratulatory remarks to himself around 600 times. He has credited others as taking positive action on the coronavirus pandemic about 360 times, and blamed others for what he said was a poor response about 110 times, the analysis found.
From March 9 to April 17, when the Times’s analysis begins and ends, Trump has made, on average, about 15 self-congratulatory remarks about his response to the pandemic per day. Looked at another way, as of Monday at noon, there have been roughly 56,000 deaths in the U.S. from the disease so far — meaning that the president has made one positive statement about his job performance on the matter for about every 93 Americans who have died from COVID-19.
For example, Trump gave himself kudos for taking “action” by closing travel from China, in which he said he acted quickly on the issue (“We were way ahead of schedule,” Trump said on April 14).
However, his administration still allowed tens of thousands of travelers into the country from China, possibly rendering his “action” moot. Additionally, screening procedures for those travelers were not consistent, reporting from Axios has observed.
Trump also failed to do much of anything else in response to the coronavirus before March 9, beyond those travel restrictions — but in Trump’s mind, according to interviews at the time, his administration had “shut it down” (referring to the spread of the virus). In response to criticism about his failure to heed medical experts’ advice on the pandemic, Trump accused those who dared to note his slow response of engaging in a “new hoax” against him.
Trump’s inaction appears likely to have cost Americans’ lives, however. A pair of epidemiologist researchers have concluded that as many as 37,000 deaths from COVID-19 could have been prevented if the president had instituted stay-at-home measures just a week earlier.
If Trump is giving himself positive reviews about handling the disease, it’s not a sentiment that is shared by the American people. Polling across the board finds that the public is not happy with how the president has reacted to the crisis so far, with many saying that he’s been slow to act.
According to a recent Economist/YouGov poll, just 45 percent of registered voters approve of Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, while 51 percent say they disapprove.
When asked what type of speed he acted with, registered voters again suggested he didn’t respond in a timely manner, with 54 percent saying he waited too long to act on the issue, while only 37 percent said he behaved in an appropriately timed manner.