In crisis, Trump’s most ardent fans find they love him more

Story Hinckley in The Christian Science Monitor:

To many on the left, President Donald Trump has been a manifest disaster in guiding America through the current pandemic. But Maria Romero most definitely would beg to differ. “The man is not a magician, but he’s doing everything he can. … He believes in America and he believes in Americans,” says Ms. Romero, who lost her job at a car dealership outside of Chicago two weeks ago because of COVID-19. She tunes into President Trump’s coronavirus briefings every evening, saying they make her feel reassured and hopeful. “I could be bitter, I could say, ‘This is President Trump’s fault’ – but it’s not,” she says. “Things were wonderful [before COVID-19]. He did it once, he’ll do it again. I trust him.”

As the United States navigates a spring season like no other, with much of its population sheltering at home and the economy frozen, President Trump’s core supporters – call them “superfans” – remain staunchly behind a chief executive they believe was Making America Great Again before a pandemic unexpectedly upset his plans. Democrats may maintain that the president initially downplayed the threat from the novel coronavirus. The media may report that the White House failed to prepare for the pandemic by making sure the U.S. had adequate testing and medical supplies. But these superfans, while they agree the crisis has been devastating, believe that President Trump has responded with strong leadership. They think the president is rightly attuned to the need to get the economy moving again as soon as possible, despite warnings from public health experts that broadly reopening workplaces before a vaccine or treatments are available could lead to another spike in fatalities.

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