Trump suggested election delay to distract US from worst slump in economy, says Internet: 'A complete failure'

Bureau of Economic Analysis' figures show that the economy had dropped by a rate of 32.9% from April through June, its worst drop on record


                            Trump suggested election delay to distract US from worst slump in economy, says Internet: 'A complete failure'
(Getty Images)

Even as lawmakers continue to express outrage at Donald Trump's suggestion that the election should be delayed, social media users have claimed it was a distraction to take eyes away from the recently-released economic figures that depict the worst figures in the country's history. The president ruffled quite a few figures, on both sides of the aisle, when he tweeted on Thursday, July 30, that mail-in voting was susceptible to fraud and asked if the November presidential election could be pushed back over these concerns.

"With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???" he wrote.



 

While Dr Stephen J Farnsworth, Professor of Political Science, University of Mary Washington, told MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) that the tweet was an attempt to divert attention away from criticism over his handling of the current coronavirus crisis in the country, eagle-eyed social media users highlighted a peculiar coincidence.

Just 15 minutes before the tweet, figures released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed that the US economy had contracted by a rate of 32.9% from April through June, its worst drop on record. CNN reported that the second-quarter GDP was nearly four times worse than during the peak of the financial crisis when the economy contracted at an annual rate of 8.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.

While these quarterly GDP numbers are expressed as an annualized rate — which measures how much the economy would grow or shrink if conditions persisted for 12 months — the figures don't make for a good reading otherwise either. Not annualized, the GDP declined by 9.5 percent, or by $1.8 trillion, between April and June which is still the worst quarter on record since the country began keeping such records in 1947.

"Just remember that minutes before Trump announced this [the election delay], they announced we just had the worst economic downturn in history," one user wrote on Reddit. "Trump's supporters care far more about his effectiveness on the economy than his 'respect for democracy'. This is an attempt to distract the news. Don't fall for it."

"The two things should be tied together in every discussion on the subject," a second commented. "After news broke that he had led the US into the worst economic downturn in history, Trump threatened to delay the election as his chances of winning grew slimmer."

"While Trump is distracting you about postponing the election, of which he holds no authority to do so," a user tweeted. "The U.S. economy has the worst drop on record, so he doesn't want you to focus on that. #TrumpIsACompleteFailure.'



 

Other critics have suggested that his tweet about delaying the election was at par with his behavior in the past and that it could have been another one of his attempts to undermine the credibility of the results — he has repeatedly refused to say whether he'd accept a Democratic victory. He has also repeatedly made false and misleading claims about the reliability of the mail balloting, which a record number of Americans will need to use, and floated conspiracy theories without any evidence.

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