What older voters make of Trump Covid story



With a month to go earlier than the presidential election, voters across the US are digesting the information that President Donald Trump is contaminated with Covid-19.

Mr Trump is presently experiencing delicate signs – however aged 74 and inside the scientific definition of weight problems, he has threat components that elevate his likelihood of getting a extreme response.

We requested some older members of the BBC voter panel how they felt once they heard the information.

Mark Falbo is a retired increased training administrator who not too long ago moved to Windham, Maine. He’s a Democrat voting for Joe Biden.

I’m very involved when anybody will get a prognosis of being Covid optimistic – being somebody my age and my dimension, I understand how unhealthy that may be for them, so I am hoping that the president and first woman, and all those that could have been uncovered, will get better effectively.

I am additionally hoping that it’s going to create an space of seriousness across the president about this, as a result of this nonetheless is a really harmful state of affairs and hopefully [this will be] his means of getting to find out how leaders want to answer threats to their inhabitants.

I do not suppose he underestimated the disaster – it is fairly clear that he was conscious of the risk. I personally suppose he mismanaged. And I believe that is been an enormous disservice to not merely People, however to the world.

Right here in Maine, we’re fairly delicate about Covid-19 and I am lucky to be in a state the place the governor and our CDC director has taken this very severely, apart from some foolish actions by a number of households.

Laura Powers is a supplies scientist from Wilmot, Wisconsin. She identifies as Impartial and can vote for Joe Biden.

After I awakened this morning and listened to the information, and heard that he had examined optimistic, my first thought was that possibly it is a wake-up name to his followers who suppose that that is all a hoax.

My second thought was that except he has signs which might be a bit of extra extreme – and I do not want that on anybody together with him and Melania – he’ll pull out and broadcast to his followers that Covid-19 is nothing to fret about, and even at his age he received by way of it.

I’ve been extraordinarily cautious and I do take the well being state of affairs very severely. I haven’t got underlying circumstances however I do know many individuals who do. I fear about people who find themselves not, and I believe that this will probably be a wake-up name. However as I mentioned, I believe that if [Trump has only a mild case], he’ll persuade his followers that Covid has been blown out of proportion by the media.

Kathleen McClellan from Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, is a Republican voting for Donald Trump.

I am very sorry that [Donald and Melania Trump] caught the an infection. I hope they do effectively. However my brother additionally caught it and he mentioned he is had flus that felt worse. So, I do know that it varies fairly a bit. However I believe that is simply the way in which a virus works – it has to contaminate a sure variety of individuals earlier than it is going to go away.

I do not suppose he is underestimated the disaster. I believe he is ready the place he has seen individuals die, however he has a special philosophy, the place you push ahead. It is a person resolution for every individual and I do not suppose anyone actually is aware of that a lot concerning the virus. However it looks as if at this cut-off date we may have to only get on with our lives, shield people who find themselves particularly susceptible.

It is only a reminder that [Covid-19] just isn’t one thing anybody ought to take with no consideration. However you’ll be able to’t be paranoid. It isn’t like again in April, when an entire shutdown made sense as a result of we did not know what we have been coping with.

Eric Scholl, 65, is a media coordinator from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He voted for Trump in 2016, however will vote for Joe Biden this yr.

Covid just isn’t a Republican concern, it isn’t a United States concern, it is a world well being concern. Sadly, and I do imply very sadly, the president by no means [listened to] the medical specialists, not to mention the truth that he completely blew off first defending the nation. So, it is unhappy – I am simply very unhappy for him and his spouse and I hope they get better, however that is not gonna change who I vote for.

I respect that there will probably be a small share [of the population] that will probably be extra proactive in defending themselves [after the president got the virus]. However right here the place I dwell in Oklahoma, the angle is “Hey I am bulletproof. It isn’t going to have an effect on me.”

The president has vastly underestimated the ability of Covid-19.

Jim Hurson from the San Francisco Bay Space in California is a Republican voting for Donald Trump.

My first response was, clearly, I assumed it’s extremely unlucky. My second response is questioning what his opposition goes to do, to attempt to leverage this into making him look unhealthy once more. I believe for certain they are going to play a sport of “we informed you so”.

We have now to do not forget that we take pleasure in hindsight.

In the event you hearken to purely well being oriented individuals, they wish to make issues as secure as they will from the standpoint of virology. However the president additionally has to cope with the results of disastrous financial fallout, what are the psychological well being issues of sequestering individuals of their houses… what’s the society as a complete going to undergo from, and the federal government spending cash that it frankly doesn’t have?

It is an extremely difficult state of affairs whenever you have a look at it from a nationwide standpoint. Provided that, I do not suppose anyone may have accomplished any higher.

In the event you do not assume that the federal government can clear up all of this, and also you have a look at people and say how they’re behaving, we’re all going by way of this properly.

Extra reporting by Silvia Martelli.

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US election: Are older Trump voters sticking with him?


Supporters at Trump rally before 2016 electionPicture copyright
Mark Makela/Getty

Their mixed ages complete 151 however for presidential candidates Donald Trump, 74, and Joe Biden, 77, retirement is way from their minds as they combat it out to grow to be the highest canine in American politics.

The help of over-65s was integral to President Donald Trump’s Republican win over Democrat Hillary Clinton within the 2016 US elections.

They’re dependable voters, rain or shine, they usually swung behind him by 9 proportion factors greater than Mrs Clinton.

However 4 years later and in midst of heavy debate over Mr Trump’s management on this coronavirus pandemic, will those that backed him then nonetheless stand by their man?

‘I’ve by no means seen America so divided’

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Elizabeth Corridor

Retired lawyer Elizabeth Corridor, 65, of Mount Kisco, New York regrets voting for Mr Trump in 2016, calling her resolution “the largest mistake of my life”.

Her vote for President Trump was a vote in opposition to Hillary Clinton, whom she despised, however proper now Corridor, a grandmother-of-five, says: “I’ve by no means seen America so divided”.

Corridor says the perceived lack of presidency motion over coronavirus has been key in influencing her resolution to vote for Mr Biden this time. She additionally believes Mr Biden has extra empathy.

“Day by day Trump had a Covid assembly and every single day he was ignoring the details and pushing them away,” she says.

When she noticed this, Corridor, a former nurse, started stitching masks to donate to others. As she’s in a high-risk class, she started self-isolating early.

However she’s amongst 1000’s of older voters anticipated to nonetheless head out to the polling stations, as she’s involved about disruptions to the postal service.

She explains: “I do not like the thought due to Covid and I am prone. However I am not dropping my vote.”

‘He is a goofball however I like him’

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Neil Van Steemburg

Neil Van Steemburg, 68, of Illinois, Chicago, can be voting for President Trump a second time.

The retired laptop operator has not been capable of see both of his two sisters -one of whom contracted coronavirus – since February and he says regardless of being a solitary character, he misses going downtown just a few occasions per week for conferences and having some social interactions.

He describes Mr Trump as a “goofball” whom he preferred however whose management and response to the pandemic was maybe considerably confused.

There may be one issue meaning Mr Trump has his vote, it doesn’t matter what this election, and that has been the president’s conservative selections for Supreme Courtroom Justice.

“The president serves 4 years and so impacts a lot much less however who he appoints as a decide can be there for well past my lifetime. And that can hold America protected from going too far in a single route or one other.”

‘Biden is a weak candidate’

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Dr Ebun Ekunwe, 72, of Carrollton, Texas, additionally voted for President Trump in 2016 as a vote in opposition to the Democratic Celebration nominee Mrs Clinton.

The retired doctor began self-isolating early as she has Hemoglobin SC illness.

Healthcare is her greatest election concern and he or she says: “Our expertise with the coronavirus is a really robust case for the existence of a public well being system.”

Whereas she’s going to vote for Mr Biden, she believes him to be a weak candidate and one of many different causes she had voted for Mr Trump 4 years in the past was as a result of he “was a fighter”.

Ekunwe, who can be an affiliate pastor in her native church, provides she stays aghast on the manner “blacks are handled on this nation”.

The writer provides: “Black lives, like all different lives, matter. And as quickly as we recover from that bump as a nation, we’ll obtain actual peace and progress – for even the oppressors.”

‘Trump is not racist, he is of that period’

However Maria, 74, of Berkley, California, believes the Black Lives Matter motion has been politicised within the run as much as the election and brought over by “faculty educated white individuals” intent on inflicting hassle and stopping African American voices from being heard.

The previous Marxist, who didn’t wish to give her full title, will again Mr Trump as soon as once more this November.

She believes Mr Trump is commonly unfairly criticised, including: “It is garbage to say he is a racist. He is like all people else of his period – of my period.”

Maria, who’s white, says Democrat assaults on the President are “damaging to our nationwide unity and nationwide safety” however Mr Trump’s “ego and stubbornness” meant he was so “thick-skinned” that it labored in his favour.

And in relation to coronavirus, whereas she has been cautious so as to not catch it, she believes it’s the accountability of the respective states to take care of residents.

‘We just like the look of Kamala Harris’

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PAul Wilkinson

Paul Wilkinson, 68, and his spouse Diana, of Sarasota, Florida, had fairly an energetic social life till coronavirus put a halt to giant gatherings with their associates.

They had been amongst these whose vote in 2016 meant Mr Trump shot previous his rival with a 17-point lead when it got here to older voters within the sunshine state.

Again then they believed the businessman would deliver robust management into the White Home, and whereas they help a few of his selections – akin to having federal troops defend federal buildings – now was time for a change.

They imagine Mr Trump’s typically stunning tweets are a “window into his character”.

They’ve worries over Mr Biden’s age and well being however Wilkinson says: “We just like the look of [vice-president nominee Kamala] Harris, and until there’s a catastrophe within the debates, or Covid takes down one or the opposite, I’m prone to vote Democrat for the primary time ever.”

‘American politics is like gang warfare’

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Jim Hurson

Jim Hurson, 73, who lives within the San Francisco Bay Space in California, voted for Mr Trump in 2016 each as a vote in opposition to Mrs Clinton but additionally as a result of he believed Mr Trump had stronger insurance policies.

The previous Air Pressure and business pilot says he and his spouse do all they will to minimise the danger of getting coronavirus however at present their major focus is rebuilding their dwelling after it was destroyed by wildfires.

He stays undecided about who to choose this yr however his greatest issues embody unlawful migration, the precise to privateness and the absence of functioning political discourse.

Hurson suggests America’s political panorama is like “gang warfare”, including: “There isn’t a clever discourse. What we’ve got is a longtime system of dogmas, and neither celebration will acknowledge, beneath any circumstances, that the opposite celebration might need a good suggestion.”

‘I voted in opposition to Clinton, now I am voting in opposition to Trump’

Retired anesthesiologist Dr William B McIlvaine, 68, of Mesilla, New Mexico had voted for Mr Trump as a vote in opposition to Mrs Clinton.

Now his high issues embody coronavirus; America’s response to the demise of George Floyd, the African-American father killed by police in Minneapolis; and the state of the economic system.

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William B McIlvaine

He and his spouse, who’ve been self-isolating with their canine Bella, are dissatisfied within the president.

McIlvaine says Mr Trump doesn’t encourage individuals and ignores scientists: “Here is a person who actually may benefit from the alternatives with George Floyd, with Covid, with our financial disasters, to perform and function a pacesetter and encourage Individuals to do good issues.

“They might settle for the constraints briefly – put on a masks, socially isolate and all of that. However he fully selected not to try this.”

He provides: “I feel my vote will in all probability be the identical precept once more – so in opposition to Trump first; for Biden and Harris second.”

‘Trump has informed Europeans they’re getting a free trip’

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Holocaust survivor Carl, 86, lives in New York Metropolis. He voted for Donald Trump in 2016 as a vote in opposition to Mrs Clinton.

The daddy-of-three has taken immense care to guard his spouse, 85, whose well being is compromised, through the pandemic.

Carl, who didn’t want to reveal his full title, says after dwelling in Germany and Ukraine, the US stays the most effective nation on this planet and is a “land of alternative”.

Carl believes Mr Biden is simply too previous to deal with home issues and international disputes and so he says he’ll reluctantly vote for Mr Trump once more this yr as a result of he feels he has no different alternative.

The retired engineer backed Mr Trump’s perspective in direction of international coverage, saying; “He is lastly telling the Europeans that we’re spending a major proportion of our price range on defence. You’re getting a free trip.

“He is opening up the eyes of our allies – they need to do one thing and never simply depend upon America.”

What the knowledgeable says…

Pew Analysis Middle’s Carroll Doherty says the votes and opinions of these aged 65 and older would definitely be of curiosity to the 2 presidential campaigns. Older voters are inclined to have a better turnout than youthful counterparts and customarily steer in direction of Republican preferences however this yr, partly due to the pandemic, all the pieces was much more unpredictable.

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Getty Photos

Doherty says Pew’s analysis to date suggests 41% of voters 65 and older say they intend to vote on the polls on election day; one other 18% say they’re going to vote early in individual whereas 40% say they’re going to vote by mail.

However he wasn’t in any respect stunned to listen to a few of these older voters clarify why they voted for Donald Trump in 2016 as a vote in opposition to Mrs Clinton or why some had been selecting Mr Biden as a vote in opposition to the incumbent. Doherty describes this as unfavourable partisanship. It is as a result of they wished to maintain the opposite candidate out of the function, it doesn’t matter what.

He says: “We requested individuals what is the greatest purpose you help your candidate, and invariably lots of people say ‘nicely they aren’t the opposite individual'”.

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