Editor’s note: We endeavor to bring you the top voices on current events representing a range of perspectives. Below is a column arguing that President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis will not help him in the coming election. You can find a counterpoint here, where Republican media strategist Adam Goodman argues that the president’s diagnosis will make him more sympathetic and may help him on Election Day.
Most litigators are trained not to question a witness without first knowing the answer. Most financial advisers and politicians know not to stake their future on predicting that future.
In the finance world, there’s that well-known boilerplate about past performance not being a reliable guide to future performance. Seasoned politicians know better than to predict a future they cannot control. Surprise undermines credibility.
Then there’s President Trump.
When the coronavirus first hit, he told Americans that it would be over by April, that it’s about as dangerous as the seasonal flu, that young people were pretty much immune, that ingesting bleach might cure the disease (although he walked that one back as a joke) and that there could be a vaccine by Election Day.
Trump’s early appearances at the daily