Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Deadline,” network national affairs analyst John Heilemann said President Donald Trump’s “incompetence” in handling the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic meant “tens of thousands of people” will die in America.
Heilemann said, “If you’re an incumbent president running for re-election, it’s almost always the case that it’s a referendum on your leadership and performance. That is almost always true. Incumbents who are unpopular try to change that dynamic and turn the race into a choice and then try to paint their opponent as unacceptable.”
On the pandemic, Heilemann added, “The problem he now has is, this such a big disaster, a crisis, whatever you want to call it, it overwhelms everything else. I can’t imagine a world where Trump is not ultimately going to be judge by the country on how he handles this crisis, how he handled it so far, and the months ahead. He’ll try to discredit Joe Biden. In the end, this is too big a story and too big a challenge, for it not to be the central defining issue of the election in November.”
He continued, “The reality is that in that period, in that lost two months, really, in January and February, the response, what Donald Trump did, and he directed his government to do in that period was woefully inadequate to the task of getting ready for this virus which was about to hit the country. That he knew it was about to hit the country, that he was being told by people around him, it was about to hit the country.”
He added, “The consequences were laid out for him vividly by people like Peter Navarro and others, and yet the reaction was incompetent and inadequate. And I don’t think it’s actually an overstatement to say that Donald Trump has —there are tens of thousands of people who will die in the country — some of them have already died, more are still going to die — because of Donald Trump’s incompetence and lack of leadership, and he will try to argue his way out of that.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN