“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

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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:

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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