Trump crumbling under stress

The United States is under severe health and economic stress. President Donald Trump also looks to be under stress, attacking and dividing as badly as he ever has (which is detrimental to the stresses the country is under). But his tweeting and flailing looks unlikely to change. Trump needs to start to take notice of advice, not something he has been good at.

MSN: Trump Gets Trumpier Under Stress

If Donald Trump loses reelection, it will be because the country changed and he did not. Over the past several months, the United States has witnessed a once-in-a-century pandemic, the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, and some of the largest protests since the 1960s. Public opinion has swung hard in favor of scientific expertise, a functioning welfare state, and greater racial justice. Yet Donald Trump has responded by becoming an even more cartoonish version of himself.

On Tuesday in The New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin puzzled over Trump’s refusal to adapt to the moment. In the face of polling showing that a majority of “somewhat conservative” voters approve of the Black Lives Matter movement, the two Times journalists wrote, Trump has become even more “inflammatory on race.” They added, “No matter how much his advisers and lawmakers nudge him to project unity and bigness, he keeps bingeing on the political equivalent of comfort food.” In trying to explain Trump’s behavior, Haberman and Martin rhetorically throw up their hands. “As political strategy goes,” they write, “it’s confounding.”

But Trump became president by confounding normal political strategy, and has continued to confound.

As political strategy, perhaps, but not as human psychology. Everything that the public knows about Trump suggests that the prospect of being humiliated by events outside his control is causing him enormous stress. And everything that scientists know about stress suggests that it leads people to fall back into old habits. Stress makes it hard for people to change, even when they need to most.

A huge problem for the US is that despite the reality of the Covid pandemic Trump has been promoting a return to life as normal and business as normal for months. Remember his claim of a beautiful Easter Sunday nearly three months ago? He insisted on having a political rally last weekend and that was a bit of a flop politically, and also helped spread Covid some more.

To actually seriously address the Covid problems facing his country Trump would have to admit he adulating himself.

When a country really needs a leader to step up and lead from the front, Trump is crumbling. That’s sad and bad for the US, but that was a risk taken by choosing a divisive non-political non-leader for president.

Fox News: Pence postpones Florida, Arizona campaign events amid increase in coronavirus cases there

Vice President Mike Pence has postponed his “Faith in America” tour events in Florida and Arizona amid rapidly rising coronavirus cases in both states.

“Vice President Pence will no longer participate in campaign events in Arizona and Florida this week,” a spokesman close to Pence told Fox News Saturday. “This is related to coronavirus numbers increasing in those states.”

Pence will still be traveling to Florida, Arizona and Texas next week Fox News confirmed, to meet with governors and evaluate the situation on the ground in those states seeing spikes in coronavirus cases.

Oh wow, he is going to put the health of the country ahead of his faith campaign.

Fox News: Trump in trouble? Poll numbers have some conservatives nervous

The release of the surveys – from Fox News, New York Times/Siena College, NPR/PBS/Marist, Quinnipiac University, and Marquette Law School – appear to spell trouble right now for the president as he fights for another four years in the White House.

But it’s not just in the expected battleground states where Trump is losing ground. Fox News polls released Thursday show Biden with a slight edge in Texas and Georgia, two once reliably red states that were not considered up for grabs at the beginning of the 2020 presidential cycle.

An opinion piece posted Thursday evening by the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board stressed that “President Trump may soon need a new nickname for ‘Sleepy Joe’ Biden. How does President-elect sound? On present trend that’s exactly what Mr. Biden will be on Nov. 4, as Mr. Trump heads for what could be an historic repudiation that would take the Republican Senate down with him.”

The conservative editorial board pointed to the president’s approval rating – which currently stands at 42.1 percent according to a Real Clear Politics average of the latest polls – and said that Trump is nearing what they called “George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter territory.” The elder Bush and Carter are the last two presidents who failed to win reelection.

Senior Fox News political analyst and former longtime D.C. anchor Brit Hume – tweeting a link to the Journal’s editorial piece – called it an “Unflinching analysis of Trump’s reelection prospects: He’s in trouble, headed for defeat unless he changes course.”

But Trump seems unable to change course.

Sure, polls had difficulties figuring the Trump phenomenon out in 2016. But things are much different this year. The public is seeing how inept and divisive Trump is as president. And Covid.


Leave a comment


  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  28th June 2020

    The lunatics are still in charge of the asylum in the US. November seems a long way away.

    • If you are referring to Trump and the GOP as the lunatics in charge of the asylum then I agree with you.

      This could be the last straw though. Trump knew Putin paid bounties to militants to kill US troops and did nothing.

      Actually, it was worse than nothing. After he was told, Trump fired the head of the National Counterterrorism Centre. Then invited Putin to be his personal guest at the G7 summit. Even though he had known for two months about Putin’s bounties on the heads of US troops.

      And Trump announced US troop withdrawals from Germany, knowing about Putin’s bounties.

      And just three days ago, Trump laid a wreath at a memorial to American war dead but he’s still done nothing about Putin paying militants to kill Americans.

      And only this week did Trump share this information with Britain, even though he’s known since March that Putin had also put bounties on the heads of British troops.

      Look beyond the politics.

  2. Tom Hunter

     /  28th June 2020

    Where are the increased deaths?

    • Death rates have lagged case rates by a few weeks so far, so it’s too soon to directly compare the current surge in cases with flat death rates.

      We’ll have a better idea in a month or so whether the death rate per cases is improving or not.

      • I’ve said the same repeatedly to Pink David and Alan Wilkinson – there is a lag between testing positive, admission to hospital, admission to ICUs, and death.

        What we are seeing now in terms of the deaths is the tail of the lock-downs around the country. What is likely to come next is an uptick in deaths as the effects of early reopening and failures to enforce testing and quarantining come into play.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  28th June 2020

          From my link on the other thread:

          One question that remains outstanding: Texas and states like it reopened on May 1. The rise in cases is in the last week or two. So what happened in late May or early June that has lead to rising cases?

          • For a start there were significant celebrations with no social distancing around Memorial Day when state “stay at home” orders expired.

            When governors lifted the stay-at-home orders, the people at Lake of the Ozarks, the raceways and the beaches chose the all-or-nothing route. They chose the teenager’s battle cry: You don’t control me. I can do whatever I want, even if that means taking actions that imperil my personal safety just to prove you can’t tell me what to do.

            That’s the all-or-nothing fallacy in action.

            Nobody wins that fight.

        • Pink David

           /  28th June 2020

          “What is likely to come next is an uptick in deaths as the effects of early reopening and failures to enforce testing and quarantining come into play.”

          This isn’t going to happen. It does not reflect what is going on. As I have pointed out to you, the average age of a positive test has fallen dramatically.

          You are ignoring what that means.

          • The spread right now is in a lower median age range but that will spread to the older as well as comorbid and immunosuppressed which will then result in higher hospitalisation and death.

            You are ignoring what that means by thinking that infectiousness is limited to a young cohort. But no cohort is fully isolated,

            That’s why hospitalizations in Texas have trebled in June and why the state has reintroduced a ban on elective surgeries to free up beds. And right now the Texas Medical Center system in Houston is preparing to reopen shuttered hospital facilities and is considering turning part of a local stadium complex into excess hospital capacity.

            Deaths are the ultimate lagging indicator.

    • Hospital and ICU admissions have gone through the roof in states across America. Cases have risen by 65% in the last two weeks. More than 45,000 new infections were announced on Friday, the third consecutive day of record new cases. On Saturday, Florida, Nevada and South Carolina reported their highest one-day case totals. Some Mississippi ICUs are already full, Houston’s on red alert, Texas and Florida state Governors are closing down beaches and bars that were reopened too soon.

      It seems like a safe bet that by the end of July deaths will also be rising again.

      • Pink David

         /  28th June 2020

        “Hospital and ICU admissions have gone through the roof in states across America. ”

        Hospitals are back in business. They are getting back to the workload they had before covid.

        They have been empty for two months. This is return to normal.

    • Tom Hunter

       /  28th June 2020

      In case you two haven’t noticed, based on that graph above there should already have been an increase in deaths following the first increase in cases weeks ago. And of course those increases track better with the eruption of the BLM protests than with the (partial) lifting of lockdowns. But then Public Health officials condoned those protests as being more important than the risk of spreading Covid.

      What’s actually driving all of this are three things:

      – a US MSM that has run out of riot action so has now switched back to Covid.

      – a suspicion among Democrats that the riots were not helping them, especially given the fecklessness of Democrat mayors and Governors in the face of them.

      – a desparate need to “prove” that GOP-run states like Florida and Texas will eventually suffer the fate of Democrat-controlled NE states like Nee York and New Jersey, even though they have suffered to date despite having far less restrictive lockdowns. The torrent of criticism fired at the South Dakota GOP governor being a prime example.

  3. Tom Hunter

     /  28th June 2020

    … even though they have NOT suffered to date despite having far less restrictive lockdowns….

  4. Tom Hunter

     /  28th June 2020

    Oh, and then there’s this:

    Nearly all the studies find between 10 and 100 times the number of total infections as reported infections, with the average somewhere around 20 to 25 times.

    In other words, while the CDC reports 2.34 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus, the actual number of infected and recovered people may be closer to 50 million. (CDC Director Robert Redfield told journalists Thursday that the number of cases may be 10 times higher than the earlier 2.34 million.)

    Thus, the death rate, which would be 5.2 percent based on that 2.34 million figure, is actually more like one-20th as high — or 0.26 percent.

    It’s quite standard for CDC to make such an estimate: they do it with the flu every season, estimating the number of infections at many times the numbers of positive tests, so this is not unusual and it’s why the annual flu death rate is calculated as low as it is.

    But then there’s no political axe to grind in bumping that death rate.

  5. Tom Hunter

     /  28th June 2020

    UPMC doctor sees too much focus on rising COVID-19 cases, too little on declining severity and hospitalizations

    A UPMC doctor on Wednesday said the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 within UPMC is the lowest in many weeks, and people who test positive aren’t getting as sick.

    Dr. Donald Yealy pointed out that is occurring even in the midst of Pennsylvania’s reopening and the ongoing social justice protests.

    He suggested the country is focusing too much on rising COVID-19 case counts.

    “We need to change our mindset and focus not exclusively on the number of cases, but on the severity of illness. We shouldn’t just be counting those who have a diagnosed infection,” Yealy said. “For the vast majority of people testing positive, their illness is mild, or they don’t even know they have any symptoms of COVID-19 infection.”

    All of which has been known by the medical community for months now.

    News like this of course does not suit either the MSM, who need clickbait and “if it bleeds, it leads” coverage, nor does it suit the anti-Trump brigade who will use any means necessary to defeat him in November. A two investigation based on falsified documents didn’t do it. An impeachment didn’t do it. For two months a pandemic didn’t do.

    Perhaps riots and screaming headlines about a second wave of the pandemic will do the trick.

    Oh and “RACISM” screamed at the top of the lungs.

    • From what I’ve seen this isn’t a second wave of Covid in the US, it’s a resurgence of the first wave that they never got on top of.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  28th June 2020

        A first wave spreading out from the initial centres but not recurring in them.

      • Pink David

         /  28th June 2020

        “From what I’ve seen this isn’t a second wave of Covid in the US, it’s a resurgence of the first wave that they never got on top of.”

        This is painfully wrong in so many ways. Just one simple fact, the southern states have a different flu season to the northern states. Did you know that?

        • Just one simple fact, the Covid virus is not the flu.

          And, take Florida as an example. There was a bit of a surge in March, they didn’t get on top of it, relaxed restrictions too soon and it has taken off there. See

          Less of an initial surge in Arizona but a similar pattern:

          Washington State is in the north, they were hit harder initially (connections to China) but it’s coming back there too:

          Patterns vary in different states, but it has nothing to do with the flu, it is too do with how much the locked down, how much travel has happened with badly infected states, and how quickly they relaxed restrictions before putting in place protections.

          • Pink David

             /  28th June 2020

            “Just one simple fact, the Covid virus is not the flu.”

            Do you know what the difference is between a typical coronavirus and influenza flu season is?

            Where is you evidence it behaves any differently to influenza in this regard? Every coronavirus that infects humans is seasonal, what makes you think this is different?

            “There was a bit of a surge in March, they didn’t get on top of it, relaxed restrictions too soon and it has taken off there”

            What about the surge in California? Is that also because they relaxed too soon?

            How do you explain what happened in Peru, they locked down far earlier than
            most and covid still took off with no indication it is slowing. Thousands have been killed by that lockdown.


        • Kami Kim, director of the Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine at the University of South Florida, said her state’s leaders claimed victory too soon after lockdowns were lifted starting in early May, while giving off conflicting messages on face coverings by not wearing masks themselves.

          “It was just complete denial by a huge swath of the politicians,” she said, predicting that the state may need to shut down again.

          Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College in Houston, said he fears that daily cases in the Houston area could more than triple to 4,000 by mid-July, making it the main global hot spot by then.

          “We need to implement more aggressive social distancing measures now,” the renowned vaccine scientist said.

          At a briefing on Friday, DeSantis blamed the spike in infections on young people interacting more in the last few weeks, adding that they faced lower risk of dying than older people. Lending support to that view, Florida on Saturday reported 24 additional deaths, well off peaks in April when the elderly made up a larger proportion of cases.

          But DeSantis also acknowledged that those young people, even if they don’t become hospitalized themselves, could transmit the virus to the elderly or people with conditions like diabetes which make them susceptible to severe outcomes with COVID-19.

        • Texas had been at the forefront of states peeling away restrictions designed to control the pandemic, allowing bars to reopen in May.

          Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars across Texas to close by mid-day and required restaurants to limit indoor seating capacity to 50%, while Florida state officials told bars to immediately stop serving alcohol on their premises.

          In Alaska, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz issued an emergency order requiring residents to wear masks in public, indoor spaces after the state identified 836 cases as of Friday, 387 of them in his city.

          It has since witnessed some of the biggest spikes in new cases, reporting 5,996 on Thursday. The state has also seen record numbers of hospitalizations in the last two weeks.

          California Governor Gavin Newsom said Friday that Imperial County, southeast of Los Angeles, has become so overwhelmed by the virus that he was recommending it issue a strict new stay-at-home order.

          Despite the grim news from Texas, Florida and elsewhere, President Donald Trump said on Friday the United States was coming back from the crisis, which has halted large parts of the economy and left millions jobless.

          “We have a little work to do, and we’ll get it done. We’re having some very good numbers coming out in terms of the comeback, the comeback of our nation, and I think it’s going very rapidly and it’s going to be very good,” he said at an event in the White House.

          Also reporting record rises in cases this week were Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  28th June 2020

            We have seen evidence that young people have low viral loads and low or no antibodies. We haven’t seen evidence they can be infectious to others in those conditions.

  6. Tom, Alan, and Pink, I really hope that you are right, and that death rates will not follow the huge surges in positive cases. The scale of deaths in America has already been appalling.

    But it is close to a certainty that the death rate will soon follow. And it is entirely possible that the rise in cases and deaths in Texas, Arizona, and Florida will continue through July and into the beginning of August. The case numbers are setting records, death counts are not dropping as they have been in some other parts of the country, and hospitalizations in these states are leading the nation.

    And just this week Trump said that he was serious, not joking, about having told staffers he wanted testing slowed down.

    How ironic that the Republicans held ten different inquiries into 4 deaths in Benghazi, yet refuse to acknowledge 125,000 deaths from COVID.

    • Pink David

       /  28th June 2020

      “But it is close to a certainty that the death rate will soon follow”

      You are completely wrong. You are ignoring critical data that shows what is happening. Covid is behaving no differently to any other respiratory illness of this sort. It is following that track as predicted by R Edgar Hope-Simpson’s work.

      “How ironic that the Republicans held ten different inquiries into 4 deaths in Benghazi, yet refuse to acknowledge 125,000 deaths from COVID.”

      Strange comparison. More than a million people die every week. Hundreds of thousands every day. Very few of them die from Covid.

      Flu kills hundreds of thousands every year, where is your inquiry? It killed 30,000 in Italy in 2018, and overran the hospitals over a few weeks. You did not notice, why?

      • “Covid is behaving no differently to any other respiratory illness of this sort”

        Wrong. Again. It’s the extent of damage outside the respiratory system that makes COVID different to any other respiratory illness.

        “Besides the respiratory issues that leave patients gasping for breath, the virus that causes COVID-19 attacks many organ systems, in some cases causing catastrophic damage.

        “We thought this was only a respiratory virus. Turns out, it goes after the pancreas. It goes after the heart. It goes after the liver, the brain, the kidney and other organs. We didn’t appreciate that in the beginning,” said Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California.

        In addition to respiratory distress, patients with COVID-19 can experience blood clotting disorders that can lead to strokes, and extreme inflammation that attacks multiple organ systems. The virus can also cause neurological complications that range from headache, dizziness and loss of taste or smell to seizures and confusion.”

  7. Hey, hey, hey,beautiful Sunday,
    This is Trump’s, Trump’s, Trump’s beautiful day-ay,
    When the Co-co-covid is vanishing,
    Oh, hey, hey, hey, it’s a beautiful day.

  8. Patzcuaro

     /  28th June 2020

    There seem to be a number of contributors that belong to the flat earth society,

    • Griff.

       /  28th June 2020

      Crank magnetism is a thing.
      Even has a reference to trumptards and the phenomenon .

    • Amen Patzcuaro.

      The frothy right is absurdly anti-science the moment the vested interests of big business and fundamentalist Christianity are threatened. From that point on they deny anything that threatens their cherished beliefs.

      Even in the face of evidence that COVID-19 is unlike other respiratory illnesses they still roll out this garbage that it’s the flu by another name.

      Or ignore that young carriers can be vectors for contagion amongst more vulnerable cohorts (I wonder how many asymptomatic positive cases visited their parents on American Father’s Day a week ago?).

      Or that death is the ultimate lag indicator, not a lead indicator.


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