The first responsibility of government is, as the Constitution says, “to provide for the common defense.” President Trump has now rightly compared the coronavirus pandemic to a war. But he was still minimizing the threat as recently as three days ago.
In a crisis, there are three rules that must be followed when communicating with the public: Be first. Be right. Be credible. President Trump has often been first but he has seldom been right and he has never been credible. In early February, 72% of Republicans agreed that coronavirus was a serious threat. Today, that number is 40%. President Trump bears responsibility misleading his supporters.
Accurate and timely information is America’s most potent defense against the pandemic we now face. The 60% of Republicans who have been misled by the president’s self-serving coronavirus lies are our families, our friends, and our neighbors. We urge them, and all Americans, to get their coronavirus information from the CDC and other reliable sources. This isn’t about politics. It’s about saving hundreds of thousands of American lives.