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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

The Republican National Committee said Friday that it will launch a $1 million digital ad campaign to praise Donald Trump's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several recent polls show the American people think Trump's response so far has been a failure.

The RNC told Fox News the ads would run through May 4 on online platforms, targeting swing voters in 15 states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.

One spot features positive comments about Trump's efforts from California Gov. Gavin Newsom and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, both Democrats.

The comments are preceded by a voiceover quote from Trump, saying, "I don't care who it is, I'll work with anybody if I feel I'm gonna help the American people and the American worker."

Trump made the remark originally during a March 24 coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, after being asked why he had rejected a relief bill from Democrats.

Trump has attacked Cuomo harshly in recent weeks, famously criticizing the New York governor's plea for more ventilators by saying he didn't "believe" the state needed that many.

The glowing ads clash with Americans' views on Trump's handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

  • A Monmouth University poll this week found that 54% of Americans do not believe the federal government has done enough to slow the coronavirus' spread. Just 46 percent of Americans surveyed said Trump has done a good job, compared to 49 percent who believe he has done a bad job.
  • A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday similarly found 51 percent of registered voters disapprove of Trump's handling of the crisis, while just 46 percent approve.
  • SurveyUSA reported that just 43 percent of Americans have confidence in Trump's ability to lead the nation through the crisis, compared to 48 percent who do not.
  • A CBS News poll found only 47 percent of Americans think Trump is doing a good job with the pandemic.
  • A Global Strategy Group Navigator poll last week found about 60 percent of registered voters believe Trump was "unprepared" to respond to the outbreak.

Experts have roundly criticized Trump for wasting two months downplaying the severity of the virus instead of preparing for the oncoming crisis.

Trump has repeatedly made false claims about the virus and his handling of it. For weeks, he told Americans that the situation was "very well under control in our country," and he promised on Feb. 26 that the number of cases would soon be "down close to zero."

As of Thursday, the CDC reported more than 427,000 total confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 in the United States.

Trump, however, has rated his response a 10 out of 10.

While the RNC's spot includes a positive comment from New York's Democratic governor, Cuomo has been very critical of aspects of the Trump administration's response.

"Anyone could've told you a lot of these things," he said last month after FEMA outbid states to purchase critical ventilators. "Did you really have to learn that 50 states shouldn't compete against 50 states, and then FEMA shouldn't come in late and compete with 50 states? It's not like you had to go to the Harvard Kennedy School to learn this."

Trump downplayed the need for ventilators in New York late last month. Now, with more than 159,000 coronavirus cases, the state has a larger confirmed caseload than some countries.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel, and a memoir.

Cruel as this may sound, I'm having a hard time cringing at the internet trolls now going after noisy right-wingers who propagandized against the coronavirus vaccine and then succumbed to the deadly disease.

One was Nick Bledsoe, a car mechanic in Opelika, Alabama. Bledsoe achieved minor celebrity opposing public efforts to contain COVID-19. He petitioned against school mask mandates and turned refusal to get shots into a political statement, negatively linking them to President Joe Biden. Bledsoe died of COVID at age 41, leaving a wife and four children.

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