The Corner

Politics & Policy

The Coronavirus Is Not a Personal Affront

Trump cares a lot about numbers — polls numbers, audience size, the Dow Jones, etc. He made it clear in his visit to the CDC that he also cares about coronavirus numbers. He said he opposed bringing ashore Americans with the coronavirus currently off-shore on a cruise ship because if they return here, the number of cases will go up. Now, everyone should want the number of infected people to be as low as possible and the ship is coming ashore despite Trump’s statement, as he suggested at the CDC might be the case. But what Trump said implies that he is taking each case as a personal affront and that he cares more about an artificial number than the real picture (the Americans on the ship are infected whether they come back here or not). What Trump says won’t be the most important aspect of the U.S. response to the crisis, but it matters, and he’s setting himself up to get even more of the blame if the response is handled poorly.

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