Not yet recovered, Donald Trump played down the threat of COVID-19 on Tuesday, attempting, in the face of alarming polls, to accredit the idea that he would be immune to the virus, but also to defeat.
Less than a month before the ballot against Joe Biden, the American president is playing, tweets and videos in support, the card of the fearless leader having tamed the virus and calling on his compatriots not to let COVID-19 them ” dominate ”.
Beyond the avalanche of criticism that this speech arouses within the medical profession, it could be difficult to hear in a country which has just crossed the barrier of 210,000 dead. COVID-19 will be the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2020.
Criticized since the start of the pandemic for his messy messages, his approximations or his lack of empathy, the tenant of the White House seems determined not to change the register.
“The seasonal flu is coming! “, does he have tweeted for his first wake-up call in the White House after three days at Walter Reed Military Hospital. “Are we going to close our country? No, we’ve learned to live with it, the same way we learn to live with COVID, which most people are much less fatal! He added, ignoring the numbers.
According to US health authorities, seasonal flu has never, in the past decade, reached the milestone of 100,000 deaths in one year.
For his return to the White House Monday evening, Donald Trump opted for a grand setting, and reminded America and the world of its taste for provocation.
Immediately after getting off the helicopter, he climbed the steps to the balcony of his residence. There, he adjusted his jacket, removed his mask and threw his thumbs up, in a strange gesture of defiance as cases of COVID-19 in his circle multiply.
Its political future is, for now, fraught with threatening signals.
As the November 3 election approaches, the curves are worrying for the 45th president in history, who fears becoming that of a single term, unlike his three predecessors: Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton .
According to the latest CNN / SSRS poll released Tuesday morning, he is now 16 points behind (41% versus 57% voting intentions) compared to Joe Biden. An NBC poll /WSJ published on Sunday placed him 14 points behind his Democratic rival.
Looking at the map of key states that could swing the election to one side or the other, the lead is less clear, but it is real, and constant.
The fearless leader card
Certainly, a small group of faithful feeds the tale of a warrior president who has defeated the coronavirus and will win the ballot box in the home stretch.
“Diagnosis: badass,” tweeted his former adviser Sebastian Gorka on Monday evening. “President Trump has once again defeated China”, at tweeted Republican Senator from Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn, with images of the president, who calls COVID-19 a “Chinese virus,” leaving hospital.
But many Republican-elected officials were first noticed by their silence when the president tweeted on Monday from the hospital he was admitted to on Friday night: “Don’t be afraid of COVID. “
“I will be returning to the field for my campaign soon!” Donald Trump assured Monday.
But the medical team made it clear that leaving the hospital was not the same as a return to normalcy. “He may not be completely out of the woods yet” and he will enjoy “world-class medical care 24 hours a day as President,” said Dr Sean Conley.
Opposite, Joe Biden continues his campaign at his own pace. He was scheduled to speak on Tuesday from Gettysburg, Pa.