“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The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date.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:

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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