Andy Puzder In coronavirus crisis, Trump displays leadership Americans expect and want

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.

Because President Trump tied his reelection hopes to the booming pre-pandemic economy, his critics are wedded to the notion that the economic hurt we’re experiencing because of the pandemic will doom his chances of reelection. That’s bunk. The American people aren’t stupid. They don’t expect Trump to manufacture economic prosperity during a pandemic.

As in any crisis, what people expect is leadership, and that’s what they’re getting. As the polls demonstrate, they know it.

So, to paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of the president's political demise have been greatly exaggerated. This is nothing new. Dating back to when he was a candidate, Trump’s detractors have been inaccurately claiming he was “finished” only to be proven wrong again and again.


First, it was firing disgraced FBI Director James Comey that would supposedly doom the Trump presidency. Then it was Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s “investigation” of baseless Democratic conspiracy theories. Then it was the pathetic attempt to remove the president from office over an innocent phone call with a foreign head of state.

Now, the same clueless pundits are writing the president's epitaph again, deeming the coronavirus pandemic his political kryptonite, ghoulishly focusing on politics while people are dying.

Amidst the economic disruption necessary to defeat COVID-19, some Democrats seem to think that even former Vice President Joe Biden might have a chance of winning the White House if millions of Americans are still experiencing pandemic-related economic hardship.

More from Opinion

As with every other supposed “Trump is done” moment dating back to 2015, the president’s critics are sorely mistaken. The American people are intelligent enough to understand the president will be unable to manufacture a booming economy in the midst of this pandemic. Rather than achieving impossible results, history clearly shows us that, in times such as these, its leadership that matters most.

In the 1930s and 40s, Americans suffered through more than a decade of economic depression and four years of world war. President Franklin Roosevelt didn’t win four consecutive terms because he promised to magically bring back the prosperity of the Roaring ‘20s, but rather because the American people trusted him to lead them through the storm.

Similarly, the British Parliament did not select Winston Churchill to lead them in May 1940 — nearly a year into the Second World War — because they thought he could return peace and prosperity by November. They chose him because their nation needed leadership to carry it through the difficult times that lay ahead.

These are similarly difficult times and Americans are finding the leadership they seek in this president. His job approval rating on the RealClear Politics average of the polls stands at the highest level of his presidency, up sharply since the crisis began. According to a recent Gallup poll, 60 percent of Americans approve of the president's response to the coronavirus.

Conversely, only 44 percent approve of the news media’s behavior during the crisis, while 55 percent disapprove.

Americans know that until the Trump boom was blunted by an unforeseen pandemic, his policies delivered three uninterrupted years of rising incomes, full employment, economic growth and industrial revitalization. It wasn't any policy failure that put millions out of work. Rather, it’s because of the Trump administration’s forward-looking policy that $2.2 trillion is being spent to relieve the economic suffering of those who have been hurt by this national emergency.

The people trust that this president can quickly restore the country to economic health once it’s safe to resume normal activities. A new Washington Post-ABC poll finds not only that Trump is enjoying the highest overall approval rating of his entire presidency, but that those surveyed trust Trump to handle the economy more than Biden by 10 full points.

The polls also show that voters are more likely to trust Trump than Biden when it comes to handling the coronavirus outbreak itself. If you’ve seen any of Biden’s recent media appearances, those results will come as no surprise.

The president is out in front, leading, just as the American people expect. His daily press briefings are widely watched and are proving invaluable to Americans as we weather this storm together.

In fact, they’re so effective, far-left MSNBC host Rachel Maddow wants the president off the air, arguing that the networks should simply “stop broadcasting” the popular briefing. New York Times columnist David Brooks agrees. Appearing on the "PBS NewsHour," he was even more direct, expressing his desire to “get Mike Pence and especially Donald Trump off the air.”


Talk about endorsements! Apparently, even anti-Trump journalists predicting that the Trump presidency will be the most high-profile casualty of the coronavirus pandemic are looking at the polls and coming to realize that they are deluding themselves — and their viewers and readers.

The American people know genuine leadership when we see it, and the leadership President Trump is demonstrating right now instills confidence that he has what it takes to guide us through this storm and revive our economy when it ends – and it will end.