“We’re rounding the corner,” he told “Fox & Friends” of the coronavirus during an interview Monday morning. “With or without a vaccine. They hate when I say that but that’s the way it is. … We’ve done a phenomenal job. Not just a good job, a phenomenal job. Other than public relations, but that’s because I have fake news. On public relations, I give myself a D. On the job itself, we take an A+.”
How, you might ask yourself, could this President give himself top marks in handling the pandemic when he had admitted to downplaying the threat it posed to the public, driven skepticism about mask-wearing, pushed unproven (and even dangerous) remedies to deal with the virus and repeatedly underestimated the death toll?
Simple! Trump lives in a fantasy world of his own creation. He always has. In that world, he is the smartest, the savviest, the coolest, the best-looking and the winningest person in the world. Objective facts fall by the wayside in that world. And Trump has always — whether in the business world or the political one — surrounded himself with people who affirm that his world is the real one and the actual real one is some sort of conspiracy narrative driven by his “elite” enemies in the Democratic Party and the media.
All of which allows Trump to live in a sort-of bubble. Prior to being elected president, his wealth allowed him to exist in that bubble. Now the security of the White House does the same.
The problem for Trump is that in politics what grade you give yourself matters a whole lot less than the grade the people you need to vote for you give to your performance. And, on that front, Trump is failing.
The disconnect between how Trump sees his handling of the coronavirus and how the public sees it is vast. But again, objective facts play a role here.
Put plainly: There is simply no evidence the country is “rounding the corner” on the virus as Trump suggested Monday. And while Trump is free to give himself whatever grade he wants in how he has dealt with the virus, his constituents disagree. Profoundly.