At a time the United States is passing through an unprecedented health crisis and economic distress, Trump shot off nearly a dozen tweets and retweets on polls and polling accusing Fox News, a channel that is for the most part cravenly devoted to him, of “doing nothing to help Republicans, and me get re-elected.” Amid growing politicization of the coronavirus pandemic and its fallout, he also demanded Fox News fire their “fake pollster,” complaining that he had never had a good Fox poll.
[email protected] should fire their Fake Pollster. Never had a good Fox Poll! https://t.co/joHfkQwd9L
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 1590158350000
“Why doesn’t @FoxNews put up the CNBC POLL or the (believe it or not!) @CNN Poll? Hope Roger A is looking down and watching what has happened to this once beautiful creation!” the US President tweeted, referring to polls on other channels showing him leading, and to the late Fox executive Roger Ailes who had his back. He went on to identify several anchors who are mildly critical of him as “real garbage littered all over the network” as opposed to “some truly GREAT people” who praise him unreservedly.
Why doesn’t @FoxNews put up the CNBC POLL or the (believe it or not!) @CNN Poll? Hope Roger A is looking down and w… https://t.co/IQCzEaYQe3
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 1590158652000
Trump’s jarring obsession on polls, ratings, and television and personalities in general, came even as the pandemic and its fallout is set to become a key electoral issue in the presidential election. The Fox News poll that agitated Trump shows Biden leading the President 48-40 with 11 per cent undecided.
Although there are five months to go for the election and such polls based on small samples and big margins of error are known to be unreliable (as was seen in 2016) and largely inconsequential in an contest where states and the electoral college is more important, such adverse numbers irks Trump. Particularly galling for the President is the poll shows Biden leading by 17 points among voters 65 and older, who are most affected by the pandemic. Trump had won this demographic by 7 per cent in 2016.
The US President has continued to roil the country with his controversial prescriptions and behavior, including canvassing for the anti-malarial drug hydroxichloroquinine, and disdainfully abjuring masks against all advice.
On Friday, the respected medical journal Lancet published a study that backed earlier reports that seriously ill Covid-19 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were more likely to die or develop dangerous heart arrhythmias. But Trump claimed that he had finished taking a course of the medication and he was fine.