An ex-speechwriter for former President George W. Bush on Tuesday argued that President Donald Trump is sacrificing the lives of other Americans to the coronavirus crisis in a "desperate" bid to save himself politically.
In a thread on Twitter, David Frum claimed reports the White House is now pivoting its pandemic messaging to the economy showed Trump is "consciously choosing to risk higher virus casualties" in the second quarter of 2020 "in hope of jolting the economy into revival in Q3 to save his re-election" in November.
"It's a desperate gamble to save himself by sacrificing others," wrote Frum, who is now a senior editor at The Atlantic, warning: "It's also not very likely to work."
Frum noted in a later tweet how "many leaders would be daunted by the human costs of Trump's desperate re-election plan."
The U.S. now has more confirmed cases of the coronavirus than any other country in the world, with upwards of 1 million people testing positive for COVID-19, the disease it causes.
As of Wednesday morning, the contagion had killed almost 60,000 people nationwide. Globally, the virus has sickened more than 3 million people — and killed at least 218,000.
The Trump administration has faced widespread criticism for the slow and haphazard way in which it has handled the public health crisis. Trump himself downplayed the risk posed by the virus for weeks, in tandem with primetime personalities on Fox News, and has since taken to using the daily televised task force updates to tout unproven cures.
Only last week, Trump pondered injecting disinfectant as a possible solution, sparking anger before walking back his comments and claiming he was just being sarcastic.
Frum last week suggested Trump will suffer a "historic political defeat" in the 2020 election as a direct consequence of his botched response to the pandemic, and that he will "likely take the Republican Senate down with him."
- This article first appeared on HuffPost US