With over 200 thousand Americans dead and millions more unemployed, the United States' response to the pandemic is one of the most consequential issues facing voters at the ballot box this election.
While President Donald Trump continues to paint a rosy picture of the progress made in containing the virus, the U.S. shattered its single-day record of new cases on Friday and hospitalizations have skyrocketed from seven percent to 15 percent in just three days.
Nevertheless, Trump has insisted for 36 of the past 54 days that the U.S. is "rounding the turn" on the virus. He continues to hold rallies with thousands of supporters, even as his own White House sees internal infections yet again.
On Twitter, the President scorned the media for not covering the virus as positively as he'd prefer, and asserted that expansive coverage of the worsening conditions should be a violation of election law.
We have made tremendous progress with the China Virus, but the Fake News refuses to talk about it this close to the Election. COVID, COVID, COVID is being used by them, in total coordination, in order to change our great early election numbers.Should be an election law violation!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2020
Despite the relevance of the virus to everyday Americans, Trump was insisting that coverage of it was unfair to him.
Forget 1/4 million dead because of me. Talking about it should be against election laws.
Crazy even for Trump. https://t.co/i3uSH17KQk
— Todd Poirier (@todd_poirier) October 26, 2020
The President has in the past called for the jailing of his political opponents. Now he's suggesting it should be illegal for reporters to cover the pandemic unless coverage reflects him positively. https://t.co/vhp8XZUy5q
— Katie Simpson (@CBCKatie) October 26, 2020
Acknowledging reality is not an election law violation.
A smart way to avoid so much public focus on COVID, COVID, COVID this close to the election would've been taking the virus seriously and spending the last 8 months fighting it instead of lying to the public about it. Whoops. https://t.co/L9iz7PIeXK
— Nicholas Grossman (@NGrossman81) October 26, 2020
The president thinks that telling people vital information about a public health crisis— information that can help inform Americans' decisions and save lives— should be criminalized because it hurts him. https://t.co/wvcXw76zbW
— Anthony “Enlarge the Court" Michael Kreis (@AnthonyMKreis) October 26, 2020
Donald Trump thinks Covid is only a political maneuver by the media. No wonder 225,000 are DEAD. https://t.co/cMswGVRkgC
— Heidi (@HeidiOCanada) October 26, 2020
New cases are the highest they've ever been and our President is angry people are talking about it, to the point he wants to charge them with some kind of election tampering.
This isn't normal. It's insane. If you're voting for Trump you're voting for lunacy. https://t.co/482gIv8XGv
— Vote Biden/Harris & end this nightmare (@DaddyFiles) October 26, 2020
Trump's tweet hardly did him any favors with only eight days to go before the election that decides whether or not he'll become a two term President.
“The free press shouldn't be allowed to talk bad about the govt" is a helluva closing argument. https://t.co/e3pJExIkPR
— JosABanks (@thejoshbanks) October 26, 2020
You're so absolutely pathetic. I can't wait until you have to face the fact America actually despises you. Get ready asshat. We're coming for you at the ballot box. https://t.co/Q9pxPucEUV
— happysnarkygal2 (@happysnarkygal2) October 26, 2020
Which election law allows the government to dictate what the Press can and cannot report?
Which law? Name the statute. https://t.co/yckIJMbKZf
— Stonekettle (@Stonekettle) October 26, 2020
The presidential election is on November third, but early voting is underway in at least 40 states.