Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang says in a new book that former President Donald Trump’s performance in narrowly losing the 2020 election should be a warning to Democrats.
Yang, who unsuccessfully ran for the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination, said that Trump earning an increase in support with 74 million votes, compared to 63 million in 2016, should alert members of his party.
“It was likely that [Trump] might even have won if not for the coronavirus, which had killed 230,000 Americans by the time of the election,” Yang wrote in “Forward,” Newsweek reported Friday.
“It was a tough election for folks who had hoped for a repudiation of Trump.”
Yang, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor of New York City earlier this year, said Trump lost support due to his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“[It’s] hard to imagine a president doing a worse job than Trump of leading the country through the crisis,” Yang said in the book, Newsweek reported.
Yang, though, wrote that other people also were to blame for many voters turning against Trump. He blamed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for being unable to carry out tasks that it “theoretically existed to do,” but didn’t have the “actual experience or muscle memory to execute urgently in real time,” Newsweek said.
Yang wrote that COVID testing was Trump’s main problem. The entrepreneur focused on contaminated tests being sent out in late January, when coronavirus cases were beginning to emerge in several areas around the U.S.
Lack of testing meant losing time during one of the “most crucial periods in American history,” Yang wrote, Newsweek said.
Yang also pointed out issues with identifying airplane passengers who should quarantine, and the lack of a centralized system to track cases. He added that more funding wouldn’t have solved the problem, writing that the CDC fell “on its face” despite significant assets.
“For thousands of Americans, it was literally death by bureaucracy,” Yang wrote. “Our bureaucracies are too often embarrassingly or tragically ineffective and inefficient, and generally no one is held accountable when they fail.”
Before the pandemic, Trump’s popularity surged as Americans were happy with a thriving economy and low unemployment.
Stephen Ansolabehere, a professor of government at Harvard University, previously told Newsweek the pandemic “turned the election in Democrats’ favor.”
Before COVID consumed the country’s attention, Ansolabehere said he expected the election would be a “big Republican year” that saw Trump winning reelection and the GOP controlling Congress, Newsweek said.