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As he rails on election, Trump mostly mum on toll of virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has been highlighting lots of truly massive numbers this week: New highs for the stock market. The 100-plus residence contributors backing a lawsuit difficult his election loss. The almost 75 million people who voted for him.

all of the whereas, he’s looked previous different spectacular and greater consequential figures: The checklist numbers of coronavirus deaths, hospitalizations and new cases among the many residents of the nation he leads.

On Friday, Trump’s team blasted out a textual content with this mighty, excessive-minded presidential message: “we are able to not bend. we will not smash. we are able to never provide in. we are able to on no account surrender.”

nevertheless it turned into not a rallying cry to assist shore up american citizens sagging under the toll of a deadly disease that on Wednesday on my own killed extra americans than on D-Day or 9/11. It became part of a fundraising pitch tied to Senate races in Georgia and to Trump’s unsupported claims that Democrats are attempting to “steal” the presidential election he misplaced.

Of Trump’s tweets over the last week, eighty two percent were focused on the election and just 7 percent on the virus — almost all of these regarding forthcoming vaccines — in line with, a data analytics business. virtually a third of the president’s tweets on the election had been flagged by means of Twitter for misinformation.

As he talks and tweets at size concerning the election he is futilely making an attempt to subvert, the president is leaving americans without a significant figure to assist them cope with their grief over adored-ones’ deaths and the day-to-day danger of the pandemic that nevertheless rages. His approach is to focal point absolutely on the brilliant object coming quickly — the prospect of a vaccine.

Calvin Jillson, a presidential historian at Southern Methodist college, noted Trump has confirmed himself unable or unwilling to muster the “general and natural, falling-off-a-log basic presidential strategy” this is known as for in any moment of national grief or disaster.

“He simply doesn’t appear to have the emotional depth, the emotional reserves to feel what’s going on within the nation and to reply to it in the way that any other president — even those that’ve been fairly emotionally crippled — would do,” Jillson mentioned.

Trump did convene a summit this week to highlight his administration’s successful efforts to support hasten the development of coronavirus vaccines and prepare for his or her quickly distribution. And he spent a part of Friday urgent federal authorities to authorize use of the first-up vaccine candidate from Pfizer.

At his summit, the president put heavy emphasis on the quicker-than-anticipated building of the vaccines, calling it “an amazing success,” “a monumental country wide achievement,” “really outstanding” and “a bit of a miracle.” he is also claimed credit score, though Pfizer developed its vaccine outdoor the administration’s “Operation Warp velocity.”

In a passing nod to the pandemic’s toll, Trump promised the arriving vaccines would “right now and dramatically reduce deaths and hospitalizations,” including that “we need to get lower back to standard.” nevertheless it might be months before most americans have entry to a vaccine.

asked what message he had for americans struggling remarkable problem as the holidays method and the virus handiest receives worse, Trump’s reply had a virtually medical tone.

“Yeah, smartly, CDC puts out their instructions, and that they’re very essential instructions,” he stated, “but I consider this: I believe that the vaccine was our aim.”

To focus otherwise would undercut Trump’s intention of minimizing the country wide ache of the virus’ toll and his claims that the danger will soon vanish.

Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, on Friday answered that method with a promise for stronger presidential management. Of the virus, he stated: “we can desire this away, but we should face it.”

Jeff Shesol, a presidential historian and former speechwriter for President bill Clinton, spoke of Trump’s failure to express empathy become a “own pathology manifesting itself as political strategy.”

“it’s no longer with ease that he has determined now not to express problem or sorrow, it’s that he does not think the sorrow,” Shesol noted.

Ari Fleischer, who served as White apartment press secretary to President George W. Bush, spoke of Trump has approached the virus in a “very mechanical, focus-on-the-vaccine kind of manner” when people are also hungering for an emotional connection. it’s hurt Trump politically, nonetheless it’s actual to his persona, Fleischer added.

“The president is a blunt force more than he’s an empathetic drive,” Fleischer observed. “To his credit score, he doesn’t faux. he’s who he’s. Most politicians would false it.”

The White house didn’t reply to a request for comment for this story.

it be not simply Trump who’s fazed via how top of the line to renowned the toll of the virus.

The subject ended in an strangely own argument on the air Thursday at Fox news Channel, the favourite network for many of Trump’s supporters. Marie Harf, a commentator on the noon show “Outnumbered,” stated that 43 minutes into the reveal the outdated day’s list-atmosphere number of COVID deaths hadn’t been outlined.

“We cannot lose sight of the tragedy this is unfolding daily during this nation, in giant half because individuals need to go about like ordinary and they don’t wish to wear masks,” she noted.

The exhibit’s host, Harris Faulkner, called Harf’s observation offensive. “keep your judgment someplace where you comprehend you could reality-determine it, because you can’t see my coronary heart.”

Late-nighttime tv hosts, too, took be aware of the scant acknowledgement of the unfolding tragedy.

In a prolonged monologue Thursday nighttime, NBC “Late evening” host Seth Meyers faulted Trump and Republicans for continuing to focus on attempting to overturn the long-settled election “as lots of americans die day by day from a deadly disease they naturally don’t care about.”


associated Press writer David Bauder in manhattan and facts journalist Nicky Forster contributed to this file.