Team Trump has finally found itself in a crisis it cannot propagandize its way out of. Unfortunately, this has not led Team Trump (the administration and its various Fox News-based media arms) to pivot to the brash notion of telling the truth. No, of course not.
For the first time ever, though, Team Trump is very confused about which lie to tell. Historically, the Trump administration and Fox News have been meticulous messengers, able to turn almost everything into a way to “own the libs.” But COVID-19 is providing Trump very few opportunities for lib ownership.
Previously, before we hit the crisis stage, we got weeks of obfuscation, and the president’s conviction that “it’s going away. We want it to go away with very, very few deaths.” Now, Trumpists are trying to grapple with the possibility that the global pandemic may in fact be real. As COVID-19 has decimated Italy, killed thousands of Chinese nationals, and spread like a brush fire through at least 47 states, it’s becoming harder and harder for Trumpists to deny the truth.