Will pandemic cost Donald Trump in bid to return as US President?

Leigh Copson:
Donald Trump

It goes without stating that Donald Trump’s run as President of the United States has divided opinions across the globe, but has he put the nail in his presidential coffin with his conduct during the current crisis?

2020 has been a chaotic president for the 45th President of US – it was just only just over a month ago that he was acquitted in his impeachment trial and he is already dealing with another massive ‘trial by public’ in the form of his handling of the viral pandemic that has been putting countries on lockdown.

Government handling of the situation was always going to result in criticism from some quarters, and Mr Trump has not been immune with many criticising his conduct and decision-making throughout this pandemic.

He has been accused of under-mining and contradicting doctors and experts during press briefings, with a prime example being when he told the American public that “we’re doing great” and that the crisis “will pass”, only for lead infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, to claim “the worst is ahead of us” while suggesting a “national lockdown” is the way forward.

And if that was not enough – his latest alleged behaviour will earn him much disgust across the globe.

According to a report by German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Mr Trump’s administration offered “a billion dollars” to land exclusive rights to a potential vaccine that his currently developed by CureVac, but the caveat in the deal was that it was “only for the USA”.

Was this report merely fiction? A US official told AFP that the report was “wildly overplayed”, but the German health ministry clearly disagree with that, telling Reuters: “We can confirm the report in Welt am Sonntag.”

German foreign minister Heiko Maas weighed in on the situation by saying “we cannot allow others to seek exclusive results”, while economy minister Peter Altmaier was even more brunt with his response, declaring “Germany is not for sale”.

Mr Trump has come under serious criticism from all quarters following these reports, but the one place where opinions on him matter the most is the United States, where he will be running for a second stint as President later this year. Has this damaged his chances?

While rival Joe Biden is now 11/10 to become the next President of the United States later this year, the bookmakers believe Trump will still have enough sway with the American voters to secure a second stint in the White House.

William Hill is Even money that he is voted in for second term last this year and given all of the criticism and potential scandals he has survived so far during his presidency, would anybody be surprised to see Mr Trump still occupying the Oval Office this time next year?