Trump gambles his own health for reelection

By Liu Xin Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/8 20:18:40 Last Updated: 2020/10/8 22:01:52

Anti-China rhetoric ‘aimed at boosting reelection chances’

US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House in Washington D.C., the US, on March 3. Photo: Xinhua

 "Yelling in his tweets by capitalizing all words, insanely shifting blame to China and attacking his Democratic rivals …" after hastily walking out of the hospital, US President Donald Trump is trying to turn his diagnosis of the coronavirus infection into a political stunt to cement his base for the upcoming presidential election, said Chinese observers. They also warned that Trump would get tougher against China and may make military provocations, which China should stay alert to. 

Two days after leaving the Walter Reed medical center on Monday, Trump released a nearly 5-minute video on his Twitter account, promoting the experimental cocktail of drugs he received during his treatment of the coronavirus infection, calling his diagnosis a "blessing from God" and warning China will pay a "big price" for "what they've done" to the US and the world. 

Trump's current activities, including blaming China in his tweets, bringing the Russia probe back into the spotlight and promoting his policies of the past years, are all aimed at cementing his base for the November election as his diagnosis has made his administration's incompetence in dealing with the pandemic an easy target for the Democratic rival Joe Biden, Diao Daming, an associate professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

Diao noted that no matter how solid Trump's base is, it will not be enough to help him win reelection due to its small size.

Aside from Trump and his wife Melania Trump, many senior officials in the White House have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, including senior advisers Hope Hicks and Stephen Miller. 

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the US has more than 5.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of press time on Thursday, ranking the No.1 globally, with the death toll of 211,834. 

Infographic: GT

The US president's diagnosis and the cluster infections in the White House have drew greater attention to COVID-19 pandemic, leaving Trump's team no choice but to turn it into a political stunt - burnishing Trump's image as "defeating" the virus, boasting his quick recovery, diverting attention to anti-China sensations and attacking the Democratic Party, Diao noted. 

In addition to releasing the video to threaten China on Wednesday, Trump also sent several tweets, calling COVID-19 "China virus" - a phrase that China and scientists across the world have firmly opposed.  

Many of Trump's tweets are written in all caps, giving the impression that Trump is yelling to people to vote for him. However, no matter how much he yells, it will not cover his failure in controlling the epidemic and the chaos in the US, observers said. 

"Shifting blame to China for the epidemic in the US has been an old tactic that Trump has adopted during the election. He just played it again. The president, like many other US politicians, is also using the pandemic to hype China threat," Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

Trump has gambled a lot, including his own health, for his reelection as a defeat seems unbearable for him - if he could not campaign actively during the election, both the US House of Representative and the Senate may come under Democratic control, Trump's policies may be overturned and his family may also be haunted by various problems like the tax issues, Li noted. 

Some US politicians are echoing Trump in blaming China. For example, after Trump's announcement about his diagnosis, Republic Senator Kelly Loeffler tweeted that "Remember: China gave this virus to our President," which was criticized by CNN editor-at-large as "the early leader for worst take" on Trump's diagnosis. 

Observers also said blaming China or turning his diagnosis into a political stunt would do no good to change the COVID-19 epidemic situation in the US, and will only make more people see through Trump's tricks.

Diao also warned that as there are less than 30 days left for the presidential election, Trump would not change his tactic of blaming China and he would play tougher with China in all aspects, especially militarily, which China should be highly alert to.

A US special mission aircraft MC-130J flied across the so-called middle line of the Taiwan Straits on Thursday. In response, the military aircraft of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) fled to the southwest of the island of Taiwan in the afternoon. The PLA has continued its drills and patrols in the Taiwan Straits during the eight-day national holidays. 

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

blog comments powered by Disqus