Trump’s (Mis)Management of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the US
Policy Studies, Forthcoming
20 Pages Posted: 14 May 2021
Date Written: May 13, 2021
Crises are a time when people look to their political leaders for action. For a President who was a master of shaping political narratives, COVID-19 offered an opportunity to use his messaging skills to steer the public response. Instead, COVID-19 revealed Trump’s long-standing inability to manage governance processes reflected in a series of failures in decision-making, communication, collaboration, and coordination and control. This article examines leadership qualities needed to successfully manage crisis and compares those qualities to President Trump’s actions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The case reveals how the lack of presidential leadership left the United States in a position of failure, characterized by high case rates, deaths, and an ongoing inability to establish a basic national consensus on how to response to the pandemic.
Keywords: Crisis leadership, Presidential leadership, COVID-19, Emergency management, Crisis response
JEL Classification: H12, H83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation