On Thursday, Donald Trump said that the US is in a "medical war" with the novel coronavirus pandemic, stressing that the country "will win it".
The same day, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced the "Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act" (CARES Act) – a "phase three" $1 trillion economic stimulus package aimed at tackling the economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. Earlier, the US president inked an economic relief bill securing free testing and paid leave for certain workers.
Last night in the Oval Office, @POTUS @realDonaldTrump signed into law: H.R. 6201, the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” with @VP @Mike_Pence and @USTreasury @stevenmnuchin1. https://t.co/Zya0FyNKjl https://t.co/i5kEzA9G1r pic.twitter.com/noXYO3nA11— Dan Scavino Jr.🇺🇸 (@Scavino45) March 19, 2020
According to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, 84% of Americans endorse Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency. Trump's response to the novel coronavirus outbreak was rated as “excellent” and "good" by a total of 41% of respondents while 39% called it "poor".
'Populist' Now Means 'Defending Nation's Safety'
Meanwhile, the Democrats are sounding the alarm as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced states to delay primaries and change voting procedures. As of today, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and Ohio have postponed their presidential primary elections. The Los Angeles Times has even gone so far as to ask whether Donald Trump could "exploit this crisis" to tip the balance in his favour.
Klaus Jurgens, a UK-based political analyst and journalist, suggests that "Trump could be in the right place at the right time".
While no one can predict whether the Democratic Party will rebound and win in November 2020 as long as Trump continues to show strong crisis management their chances appear to be "slim indeed", he remarks.
"Faced with a national emergency he is the man in charge and the population will look up to him", he says. "Although countermeasures are less drastic as in some European countries he nevertheless got a strong-worded message across to the electorate: he is a wartime president and the goal is total victory over the virus".
According to Jurgens, the pandemic has prompted elected leaders to "claim the moral high-ground and act in a populist manner", clarifying that "populist this time meant as in defending one's nation’s safety and ones population’s health and welfare".
"Needless to say, would a Democrat president currently sit in the White House the same option of turning a nationwide crisis into a leadership advantage would only be logic and nothing untoward at all", the political analyst believes. "Why? Politicians must defend their nation’s welfare and Donald Trump is doing nothing but that!"
Trump May Emerge With Increased Support
Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar does not think that the Democrats concerns are justified.
"The impact of the current pandemic on US elections procedurally appears, at this time, to be negligible", he believes. "Primaries can be rescheduled if a particular state so chooses".
At the same time, the American lawmaker deems that the incumbent president will command further support while combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Politically there is a good chance that President Trump will emerge with increased support as the country unifies around his leadership in addressing the Wuhan Virus crisis, and as Americans recognise how important the president’s America First agenda really is in disentangling our key industries from too much global interruption", he observes.
According to Gosar, the pandemic clearly indicates that "self-sufficiency" advocated by the Republicans is more viable than "the Democrat globalist agenda".
Why Advantage is Going to be on Trump's Side
Paul Taylor, an American political analyst, draws parallels between Donald Trump and war-time British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
"[Winston Churchill] stood strong… and Donald Trump shows that presence today of a man living without worry, without regard to any outside things, except to face what is going on and fix it… He's going to go through it in a calm controlling manner", Taylor says.
The political analyst who dubs the Democrats "whimpers" does not rule out that the long Democratic primary season could boost the prospects of re-electing President Donald Trump especially given the simmering row between Democratic presidential hopefuls Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
"I totally agree with that", he says. "Not the fact I'm a Donald Trump supporter, not the fact I'm conservative Republican. But the fact that people are sick of the fighting and the repeated dialogue [when] they are constantly saying the same thing over and over again. Tell me something I don't know! Is there any unity? Everything you guys have done is heartiness. Everything you say is hateful. There is nothing redeeming in what you're saying, Democrats".
According to Taylor, Trump is clearly demonstrating leadership skills amid the COVID-19 outbreak and the advantage is going to be on his side during the upcoming elections.
"I think the best thing [the White House] can do - is to keep the people calm", he says. "Be it reassuring like father will for his family when there's something wrong and he has to step up and be the hero in this house. Donald Trump will do that".
Meanwhile, on 19 March, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in the US has reached 10,442 with 150 lives having been claimed by the disease so far.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.