Voters are each denouncing and defending President Trump for the way he is dealing with his COVID-19 prognosis, reflecting the deep political divide over how he has managed the pandemic as an entire. Even in blue Massachusetts, the president is getting each criticism and kudos.
Tony Beaulieu by no means goes wherever with out his “Trump 2020” hat on the entrance windshield of his truck, and his Trump flag within the again. His face masks is normally someplace on the ground.
“I solely put on a masks when I’ve to go within the retailer or one thing,” he stated. “I take zero precautions. And all of the individuals in my circle, identical factor. They do not put on masks both.”
Ending lunch in his truck, exterior a sandwich place in Waltham, Mass., Beaulieu, who owns a development enterprise, stated he believes Democrats have been exaggerating the specter of COVID-19, simply to make Trump look dangerous earlier than the election.
“This coronavirus is nothing like what they’re saying. They make up the numbers,” he stated final week, simply earlier than information broke that the president was contaminated.
However reached by cellphone afterward, Beaulieu conceded that Trump’s prognosis left him feeling a bit of extra involved.
“It does make you suppose a bit of bit,” he sighed. “Now that it is within the White Home and the president can get it, I suppose I might get it too. You already know, I’d hate to get COVID and die.”
However Beaulieu’s fear would not final lengthy. When Trump left the hospital Monday night, tweeting that he felt nice and “Do not be afraid of Covid,” Beaulieu was as soon as once more reassured.
“I do not know, possibly [the risk] is, , not as dangerous because it’s cracked as much as be.”
That infuriated Massachusetts’ many pandemic-prudent Democrats, out procuring on the identical strip mall yesterday.
“Trump is [saying] ‘Look, I advised you it is nothing. Look, I obtained over it in two days. You’ll be able to too,'” stated dressmaker David Josef. “That is madness.”
“I feel it is extremely egocentric, very irresponsible and really ignorant,” stated Jennifer Craig, who works in improvement at a close-by museum. The president continues to discourage social distancing and masks carrying, Craig stated, which can “lead to extra individuals changing into sick, extra individuals dying and extra individuals infecting others.”
Josef and his husband, Dan Forrester, say they had been particularly outraged to see Trump mask-less within the White Home whereas contagious, grossly downplaying the hazards of the lethal virus at the same time as instances are rising and setting alarming information in lots of states.
“He is throwing fuel kerosene on the hearth,” stated Forrester.
“It is a shame,” added Josef. “It is such a slap within the face to the [more than] 200,000 People who’ve died.”
It felt particularly irresponsible to some, that Trump did not simply say his situation was “bettering” or “good,” however as a substitute tweeted a characteristically over-the-top pronouncement that “I really feel higher than I did 20 years in the past!”
“It sounds just like the medicine are impacting his psychological acuity to be sincere,” quipped grad scholar Alex Berlin, who works as a contact tracer. “I discuss to individuals for my job about having coronavirus, and [none of them] really feel like they’re 20 years youthful,” he stated.
Fellow grad scholar Aislinn Mayfield stated she too finds Trump’s tweets dangerously deceptive, particularly since he’s benefiting from taking medicine which might be unavailable to different People.
“For him to only brush it off, he is privileged to say what he is saying. However I feel he has positively not considered lots of people in communities of colour who must take it critically as a result of there’s much more danger there.”
Trump loyalists, nonetheless, dismiss such criticism as partisan assaults. Nobody might have accomplished higher battling such a lethal virus, they are saying. And Trump had an equally necessary function to play as a sort of “Calmer-in-Chief.”
“He is simply making an attempt to not panic individuals. You need to do this,” stated Rick Lampron, who traveled from Florida to work on a development challenge in Massachusetts. “Look what occurred with the bathroom paper.”
Lampron stated Trump can be proper to reassure individuals in regards to the progress made on COVID remedy choices. “There are extra medicine now than we had firstly of the pandemic, so we’re higher off,” he stated.
One other die-hard Trumper sees the president’s weekend drive-by exterior the hospital, as reassuring as properly, and defends the transfer that was extensively panned for endangering his Secret Service brokers.
“These individuals take a bullet for him. So he has COVID-19, and so they’re presupposed to do what? Social distance? They don’t seem to be supposed to guard the chief of the free world as a result of he has COVID-19? They cannot say, ‘Sorry, Mr. President, you will have COVID-19 so we will have to remain 20 toes again from you,’ ” stated the Trump supporter, who requested that his title not be used.
“I do not need to put my household in jeopardy,” he stated, “as a result of I do not need these quacks on the market who’re rioting and burning issues down to return by my home as a result of they do not like Trump.”
“It is unlucky,” he stated, that the nation is so divided that “it doesn’t matter what [Trump] does, it is all the time going to be incorrect.” Although, he famous, he distinguishes between liking the president personally, and liking his insurance policies.
One other voter, Kevin Mac, a former corrections officer and a former Democrat, stated he too bristles generally at issues the president says or tweets, however he chooses to look the opposite approach, and focus as a substitute on what he sees because the president’s robust management on the financial system, and commerce.
“You already know, the president spews stuff. I am not saying it is proper,” stated Mac. “However what? I do not need no cupcakes in [the White House.] You have to care for your personal nation. We will not be, , bamboozled.”
Polls nonetheless recommend fewer voters might even see it that approach. Trump’s dealing with of his personal sickness and of the pandemic extra broadly seems to be eroding public belief in him, leaving extra voters questioning in the event that they’re being bamboozled by their president.