Die-hard Donald Trump supporters dying for Trump

Horse race

I guess I have a couple responses to Tom McCarthy’s report[1] in the Guardian:

  1. McCarthy went to a different part of Pennsylvania. Northampton County is along the eastern edge of the state, bordering New Jersey. Allentown, in Lehigh County, is to Northampton County’s southwest. This cuts a couple ways: This part of the state is among the hardest hit by the pandemic (figure 1). So one might suspect that “Cut The Bullshit,” a favorite Donald Trump-supporter slogan, might fall flat in the face of Trump’s voluminous and often dangerous bullshit on COVID-19.[2]

    Safari Screenshot 2020-05-18 08.42.02
    Fig. 1. Screenshot from Johns Hopkins University “COVID-19 United States Cases By County” map, zoomed in on Northampton and Lehigh (the latter including Allentown) Counties, taken May 18, 2020. The less affected adjacent counties are Carbon and Schuykill.[3]

    But conversely, this is a part of the state that has been under the lockdown the longest (figure 2):

    FireShot Capture 143 - Gov. Wolf announces most of Western Pa. moving to yellow phase May 15_ - triblive.com
    Fig. 1. Screenshot of Pennsylvania county map showing yellow or red phase taken from TribLive article, May 8, 2020.[4]

    To the extent that “lockdown fatigue” is a thing, these folks might be feeling it the hardest. It sounds like McCarthy interviewed die-hard Trump supporters,[5] but they might be getting a boost from that fatigue.

  2. In my blog post yesterday, I suspected that in the area around Pittsburgh, that support might in fact be dimmed.[6] This area has not been hit as hard as the eastern part of the state (figure 3).[7] But I can only judge by the campaign paraphernalia I see about, that is, yard signs, bumper stickers, flags, and the like. (I still have only seen those two posters I saw that one day for Joe Biden.) That is only a very rough gauge of enthusiastic support that I cannot systematically quantify, really a mere impression as I drive around randomly according to the orders I get from Uber and Lyft. A diminution of this does not mean folks won’t vote for him. But it does suggest a bit of previously-unobserved humility among his supporters.

    Safari Screenshot 2020-05-18 09.50.38
    Fig. 3. Screenshot from Johns Hopkins University “COVID-19 United States Cases By County” map, zoomed in on Allegheny and surrounding counties, taken May 18, 2020. The darkest areas here are in Ohio.[8]

I suppose there’s a lot about this I can understand even as I strongly disagree.[9] What I can’t understand is complicity with Trump’s hydroxychloroquine and Lysol-injection hype.[10] This seriously ought to be treated as criminal, not brushed off and forgotten.

Tom McCarthy, “‘They don’t give him enough credit’: the voters who back Trump, even through the pandemic,” Guardian, May 18, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/18/they-dont-give-him-enough-credit-the-voters-who-back-trump-even-through-the-pandemic


  1. [1]Tom McCarthy, “‘They don’t give him enough credit’: the voters who back Trump, even through the pandemic,” Guardian, May 18, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/18/they-dont-give-him-enough-credit-the-voters-who-back-trump-even-through-the-pandemic
  2. [2]Associated Press, “FDA warns against using the drugs that Trump touts for coronavirus,” Los Angeles Times, April 24, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-04-24/fda-warns-against-using-trump-touted-drugs-to-treat-coronavirus; David Benfell, “The dangerous and delusional raging narcissist-in-chief,” Not Housebroken, April 25, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/04/25/the-dangerous-and-delusional-raging-narcissist-in-chief/; Aaron Blake, “The timeline of Trump’s coronavirus response is increasingly damning,” Washington Post, April 7, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/04/07/timeline-trumps-coronavirus-response-is-increasingly-damning/; Allyson Chiu, Katie Shepherd, and Brittany Shammas, “Trump comments prompt doctors, and Lysol, to warn against injecting disinfectants,” Washington Post, April 24, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/24/disinfectant-injection-coronavirus-trump/; Helen Davidson, “WHO says it has no evidence to support ‘speculative’ Covid-19 lab theory,” Guardian, May 4, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/05/who-says-it-has-no-evidence-to-support-speculative-covid-19-lab-theory-pushed-by-us; Ed Kilgore, “Could Trump Go the Way of Herbert Hoover?” New York, May 4, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/05/could-herbert-hoovers-fate-be-trumps.html; Joe Lowndes, “The Morbid Ideology Behind the Drive to Reopen America,” New Republic, April 30, 2020, https://newrepublic.com/article/157505/morbid-ideology-behind-drive-reopen-america; Dana Milbank, “For Trump, a reckoning has come,” Washington Post, February 28, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/28/trump-reckoning-has-come/; David Roth, “The Enduring Delusion of a Chastened Trump,” New Republic, April 3, 2020, https://newrepublic.com/article/157154/enduring-delusion-chastened-trump; Aaron Rupar, “Trump and Fox News want to send their hydroxychloroquine hype down the memory hole,” Vox, April 22, 2020, https://www.vox.com/2020/4/22/21230982/hydroxychloroquine-coronavirus-trump-fox-news-hype; Anna Sanders and Chris Sommerfeldt, “A spike in New Yorkers ingesting household cleaners following Trump’s controversial coronavirus comments,” New York Daily News, April 24, 2020, https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-coronavirus-new-yorkers-household-cleaners-trump-20200425-rnaqio5dyfeaxmthxx2vktqa5m-story.html; Adam Serwer, “The Coronavirus Was an Emergency Until Trump Found Out Who Was Dying,” Atlantic, May 9, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/americas-racial-contract-showing/611389/; Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman, “Health Dept. Official Says Doubts on Hydroxychloroquine Led to His Ouster,” New York Times, April 22, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/us/politics/rick-bright-trump-hydroxychloroquine.html; Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Eileen Sullivan, “As Trump Pushes to Reopen, Government Sees Virus Toll Nearly Doubling,” New York Times, May 4, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/04/us/politics/trump-coronavirus-death-toll.html; David Von Drehle, “If Trump doesn’t like the coronavirus news now, he’ll hate what comes next,” Washington Post, March 10, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/if-trump-doesnt-like-the-coronavirus-news-now-hell-hate-what-comes-next/2020/03/10/e478c314-62ea-11ea-acca-80c22bbee96f_story.html; Paul Waldman, “How coronavirus has deeply flummoxed conservative media,” Washington Post, February 28, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/28/how-coronavirus-has-deeply-flummuxed-conservative-media/; Paul Waldman, “The real reason Trump is obsessed with hydroxychloroquine,” Washington Post, April 7, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/07/real-reason-trump-is-obsessed-with-hydroxychloroquine/; David Wallace-Wells, “There Is Still No Plan,” New York, May 7, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/05/white-house-plan-for-ending-coronavirus-stay-at-home-orders.html
  3. [3]Johns Hopkins University, “COVID-19 United States Cases By County,” May 16, 2020, https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/us-map
  4. [4]Megan Guza, “Gov. Wolf announces most of Western Pa. moving to yellow phase May 15,” TribLive, May 8, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/regional/gov-wolf-to-announce-most-of-western-pa-moving-to-yellow-phase-next-week/
  5. [5]Tom McCarthy, “‘They don’t give him enough credit’: the voters who back Trump, even through the pandemic,” Guardian, May 18, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/18/they-dont-give-him-enough-credit-the-voters-who-back-trump-even-through-the-pandemic
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Pittsburgh, race, and a threat to appropriated identity,” Not Housebroken, May 17, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/05/17/pittsburgh-race-and-a-threat-to-appropriated-identity/
  7. [7]Johns Hopkins University, “COVID-19 United States Cases By County,” May 16, 2020, https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/us-map
  8. [8]Johns Hopkins University, “COVID-19 United States Cases By County,” May 16, 2020, https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/us-map
  9. [9]David Benfell, “The dangerous and delusional raging narcissist-in-chief,” Not Housebroken, April 25, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/04/25/the-dangerous-and-delusional-raging-narcissist-in-chief/; David Benfell, “The pandemic and a crisis of illegitimate authority,” Not Housebroken, May 14, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/05/12/the-pandemic-and-a-crisis-of-illegitimate-authority/
  10. [10]Associated Press, “FDA warns against using the drugs that Trump touts for coronavirus,” Los Angeles Times, April 24, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-04-24/fda-warns-against-using-trump-touted-drugs-to-treat-coronavirus; David Benfell, “The dangerous and delusional raging narcissist-in-chief,” Not Housebroken, April 25, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/04/25/the-dangerous-and-delusional-raging-narcissist-in-chief/; Allyson Chiu, Katie Shepherd, and Brittany Shammas, “Trump comments prompt doctors, and Lysol, to warn against injecting disinfectants,” Washington Post, April 24, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/24/disinfectant-injection-coronavirus-trump/; Aaron Rupar, “Trump and Fox News want to send their hydroxychloroquine hype down the memory hole,” Vox, April 22, 2020, https://www.vox.com/2020/4/22/21230982/hydroxychloroquine-coronavirus-trump-fox-news-hype; Anna Sanders and Chris Sommerfeldt, “A spike in New Yorkers ingesting household cleaners following Trump’s controversial coronavirus comments,” New York Daily News, April 24, 2020, https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-coronavirus-new-yorkers-household-cleaners-trump-20200425-rnaqio5dyfeaxmthxx2vktqa5m-story.html; Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman, “Health Dept. Official Says Doubts on Hydroxychloroquine Led to His Ouster,” New York Times, April 22, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/us/politics/rick-bright-trump-hydroxychloroquine.html; Paul Waldman, “The real reason Trump is obsessed with hydroxychloroquine,” Washington Post, April 7, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/07/real-reason-trump-is-obsessed-with-hydroxychloroquine/

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