“You Can’t Bullshit a Virus.” What Trump Doesn’t Get About His 2020 Election Strategy

This week’s episode of the Mother Jones Podcast is out now.

Trump at press conference

Yuri Gripas/CNP/Zuma

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Yesterday, Mother Jones published a timeline tracking 100 days since officials confirmed the first case of the coronavirus in the United States. In the weeks since, more than 1 million Americans have fallen ill and more than 57,000 have died. President Donald Trump’s record of failure, self-congratulation, and deflection snaps into focus the moment you start scrolling.

Over at the Mother Jones Podcast, we took the opportunity to examine what bearing these first 100 days could have for Trump’s 2020 reelection prospects—and the strategies he’s using to misinform and point the finger elsewhere. Host Jamilah King asked Mother Jones DC Bureau Chief David Corn to analyze the ways in which Trump has, or hasn’t, taken responsibility for the United States’ pandemic, uncovering an all-too familiar pattern. “He is trying to blame foreign power for what it did wrong so that we don’t look at what he did wrong,” Corn says.

Jamilah King also spoke with senior reporter Tim Murphy about his reporting on how candidates are adjusting to long-distance campaigning. Murphy paints a picture of a new style of digital-only campaigning, made up of livestreams, podcasts, and social media, that has profoundly affected the campaign of presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden. “The campaign shut down just as he was on the cusp of making history,” Murphy said. “You can’t do the big wine cave fundraisers anymore.”

Listen to the full story on the podcast:

And while you’re here, check out our video chronicling Trump’s 100 days of denial:

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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