Fox News' Chris Wallace Predicts 2020 Election Will Come Down to Trump's Coronavirus Response
Fox News host Chris Wallace predicted that the results of November’s election would depend on President Donald Trump’s coronavirus pandemic response.
“If people think Trump has handled the health issue and the economic issue well, I think he may be unbeatable,” Wallace said on “The Fox News Rundown” podcast Friday.
“If people come to the conclusion, a majority of Americans, that he has handled the health issue and the economic issue poorly, I don’t think he has any chance to win,” he explained.
The “Fox News Sunday” host added that even as Trump’s most likely opponent, people are not paying attention to anything former Vice President Joe Biden is saying in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Even though the likely Democratic presidential nominee is holding virtual town halls and speaking on podcasts, what Biden says is not impacting how the country is responding as a whole.
“He’s not the president, what he’s saying isn’t really gonna matter that much,” Wallace said.
“I think to some degree he may benefit from the fact that he’s off the screen to the degree that … Biden can kind of ride this out right now because people aren’t paying attention and be more the generic Democrat. I think the generic Democrat runs better against Trump than Joe Biden does.”
Wallace told the podcast hosts that the 2020 election will be “a coronavirus referendum on Donald Trump.”
“I’m not sure that Biden’s issues and, you know, his record and stuff is gonna be all that important.”
Wallace added that it would be tough for Trump to win re-election during a coronavirus-induced recession.
“I think that people will make a judgment. They’ll say, ‘Did he handle the health crisis properly? Did he handle the economic crisis properly or not?'” he said. “I think there’ll be a tougher argument [for Trump] to make [if] people are still suffering.”
Citing data from the Department of Labor, he added, “In the last three weeks, we’ve had 17 million new Americans claim unemployment, go on unemployment. You know, that’s horrible but politically acceptable in April. Is it acceptable in September and October? Probably not.”
The “Fox News Rundown” hosts also brought up Nancy Pelosi’s House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis and how if Trump won re-election, there would most likely be new hearings on how Trump handled the crisis.
“It’s a legitimate issue. It’s like after 9/11. You want to find out what could have been handled better, what could have been worse,” Wallace said. “I think you’ll have that whether Donald Trump is re-elected or not because, Lord knows we don’t want to go through this again and there are always lessons you can learn.”
There have been nearly 2 million confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins. Over half a million of those have been in the U.S.
About 6 percent of all those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have succumbed to the disease, but the fatality rate in the U.S. has been less than 3.8 percent thus far in the pandemic.
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