President Trump and others in the White House testing positive for COVID-19 has raised questions about what impact the news will have on coronavirus messaging.
Doug Kriner, professor of government, is an expert on presidential power. Kriner is also the co-author of a recently published study examining how politicians’ rhetoric and media framing affect support for using COVID-19 models to guide reopening policies.
“While President Trump’s announcement that he has tested positive for COVID-19 will raise parallels to prior presidential health scares, perhaps a better analogy is to President Johnson and the credibility gap over administration statements about Vietnam," said Kriner.
“President Trump has repeatedly declared that victory against the virus is right around the corner – or even achieved. Just this Tuesday, he mocked Vice President Biden seemingly for being over-cautious with his almost constant mask wearing. Of course, the daily tallies of cases and tests plainly testified against this narrative. But the President’s own positive test has demolished it in a way consistent statistics could not.”
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