“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

The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date. Check out our most recent coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

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:

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate