Amid the coronavirus pandemic, states across the nation are gearing up to reopen their economies as President Donald Trump pushes to reopen the country, promising an unprecedented economic recovery. But according to a Saturday report from The Washington Post, the president is becoming increasingly nervous.
According to White House officials, Trump is “glum and shell-shocked by his declining popularity.” The president has reportedly “struggled to process how his fortunes suddenly changed.” Trump reportedly believed that he is all but certain to win in November, but polls show that former Vice President Joe Biden is a strong favorite. Even the Trump campaign’s internal polls have been bad news for the commander-in-chief, according to advisers.
The report alleges that Trump is already thinking about holding rallies by the end of the summer. Discussions about the events have already begun, but officials are not yet sure how to proceed. Outdoor rallies in areas with few COVID-19 cases are being considered, an administration official said.
Still, some in Trump’s inner circle worry about the 2020 presidential election. Even if the death toll stabilizes, “the question is, will people become anesthetized to it? Are they willing to accept that?” according to a White House official.
Others believe that reopening the economy will not accomplish much in and of itself. As conservative economist Stephen Moore explained, whether the country is open or not, some Americans will remain cautious and practice social distancing.
“I’m the biggest advocate for getting the economy up and running there is, but I have two relatives who think I’m crazy, and they’re not going out of their house no matter what. Just because the president and governors open up a state doesn’t mean that commerce is going to instantly resume. It’s not,” he said.
Furthermore, according to the report, tensions are brewing inside the West Wing. Public health officials have reportedly clashed over disagreements about the government’s response to the pandemic, and some are not sure whether the Trump administration’s strategy is working. An official told The Washington Post that it is “incredibly sad” the president’s team hasn’t focused on testing and contact tracing.
Trump’s fears about the 2020 election do not seem to be unfounded. Most polls suggest that Biden is well-positioned to win in November. For instance, according to a Hart Research Associates poll released on Friday, the former vice president is nine points ahead in six key Senate battlegrounds. All six states feature vulnerable Republican incumbents and Democrats need to win only four seats to take control of the Senate.