It’s unclear whether Trump, who has long struggled with consistency and messaging discipline, can sustain even the small shift he showed on Tuesday. But the return of the briefing and the uncharacteristic discipline come amid countless warning signs that his reelection campaign is in trouble.
Polling has consistently shown that Trump is leaving his likely democratic rival, former vice president Joe Biden, double digit nationally. Opinion polls in critical swing states and even traditionally red states have also endangered Trump.
All the while, Trump’s approval has risen because the president has been kept off the campaign trail by the virus. When he held his first rally in months in Tulsa, Okla, last month. Loved, less than half of the stadium was full. The campaign canceled what would have been Trump’s second rally several weeks ago, citing a nearby tropical storm. And Trump sparked a major campaign uproar last week, downgrading his campaign manager and naming a new one after the campaign’s final months.
Trump’s polls and the spike in business also coincided with a greater willingness of close allies to ignore his rosy statements about the virus as the situation on the ground worsened at home – some criticized testing, others heard of threats to federal take out funding to schools that do not open to personal education, and still others begged the President to take a stronger stance in favor of wearing facial covers.
The new tone also seemed to extend to reporters, with whom the President was less belligerent than usual on Tuesday, even as he turned away on whether voters should make the November election a referendum on his approach to the outbreak.
And Trump did not name Joe Biden, whose name is included in almost every public speech by the President.
Yet, when asked about his change in tone, Trump again insisted that the corona virus “disappear” and never disagreed with scientists’ recommendations on social distance, despite aggressive pressure on the country to reopen, also in the coming weeks, schools.
And he continued to test the U.S. as unparalleled as he came under pressure from reporters over his government’s attempt to stop Congress from providing more money to test and track coronavirus in its next aid package.
The president said he would be notified of the issue at some point, while continuing to insist that the country was processing “huge” numbers of tests.
“I think we do a lot of testing, but if the doctors and the professionals believe that although we are on a level that no one ever thought possible they would like to do more, I think that’s fine.” , he said .
Trump ended the briefing by teasing more, but he indicated that, like previous briefings, they could deviate from the coronavirus topic and touch topics considered useful for his reelection prospects.
“We’ll keep you posted on this and talk about other topics like the economy, which is doing well,” he said, noting that “the stock market was having a good day again” and attributed that to the “positive things happen on this front. “
Brianna Ehley contributed to this report.