“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:

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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