Since mid-March, the country has been focused on COVID-19. On May 27, 2020, the United States reached the milestone of 100,000 deaths. The health experts were repeatedly advising people of the importance of social distancing and wearing a face mask. There was public shaming of events such as the pool party in the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, where groups of people congregated in tight quarters. One of the arguments was that it was unfair to others, especially the elderly and healthcare workers, if people are not careful. One TV station would daily display on the screen the number of deaths and COVID cases in the United States and worldwide. The president was getting hammered for his response. He was trying anything he could to get COVID-19 off the front pages. Nothing worked.

On April 18 and 19, a mass shooting occurred in Nova Scotia when a lone gunman killed 22 people. On May 1, Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau issued an executive order: “Effective immediately, it is no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport, import or use military-grade assault weapons in this country.” This ban covers 1,500 models and variants of assault-type weapons. Included on the list is the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, used by the gunman who killed 50 people in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019, and in other mass shootings in the United States, including the Sandy Hook and Las Vegas massacres.

Both Republican and Democratic state governors have seen their approval ratings increase significantly since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, in contrast to the president, who has had a small bump up. Why are the governors’ responses to the virus so popular and why is Trump’s so low?  As Moshe Hill noted in last week’s QJL, Trump has had “his ups and downs” and Cuomo has made mistakes. It is easy to blame the media; namely, they have had favorable coverage toward the governors and negative toward Trump. However, I believe that there are other factors causing this dichotomy. A person should ask themselves how they would have approached the government’s response to the virus. Would they have taken Trump’s approach or the popular governors’ approach in their tone and messaging?

When I walk on Main Street and see the sign for the Queens Networking event that was held on February 19, it reminds me how much has changed in such a short time. New York has been in a lockdown for over a month. There are other places that have been in the situation even longer. In the last four weeks, approximately 21 million people applied for unemployment. Schools are closed. People are cooped up in their homes. One would have expected that there would be a big backlash against the governor’s stay at home orders. Yet the opposite is true. According to AP-NORC poll, 80% support them. When was the last time we got 80% of Americans to agree on anything important? Some states including Georgia have started opening up. There has been such a strong negative reaction that even the president had to change his tune and he criticized Georgia.