On Saturday, for the second time in less than a week, President Donald Trump stood on the White House balcony and removed his mask, with dozens of supporters gathered below.
"I feel great," he proclaimed to an excited crowd.
Since returning home, Trump has continued to downplay the virus he’s fighting in a series of videos posted to Twitter.
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“Don’t let it dominate. Don’t let it take over your lives,” Trump said upon leaving Walter Reed Medical Center, where he stayed three nights last weekend.
He has also pushed an unproven cure for COVID-19.
“To me, it wasn’t therapeutic; it just made me better. Okay? I call that a cure,” he said.
His behavior from the past week, including a refusal to appear at a remote presidential debate, has left some experts questioning his motivations so close to the election.
“He’s so far behind that it’s hard to understand why any politician would make that move,” said Dr. Maurice Cunningham, a political science professor at UMass Boston.
Cunningham says that the president’s actions this week may not inspire undecided voters to turn his way.
“I think the message [it] sends [is] that he’s erratic,” Cunningham said. “Whatever they think of the last three-and-a-half years — and there’s plenty of evidence that it hasn’t been good — that he’s erratic, that he’s incapable of being president.”
Instead, Cunningham said, the president should spend the next few weeks leading up to the election taking the coronavirus seriously.
Cunningham also believes the president’s decision to advance with a contentious nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court won’t help his reelection bid.