Weekly Trump Report Card: Vaccine historic, Supreme Court try not so

Our Weekly White House Report Card finds President Trump capping an historic effort to approve a vaccine for the coronavirus in less than a year, but he is also licking his wounds after a major defeat in the Supreme Court that slapped down his latest election challenge.

Conservative analyst Jed Babbin, grading the week a “C+,” gave the president’s Operation Warp Speed and his forceful backing of it the credit for pushing the Food and Drug Administration’s quick approval of Pfizer’s vaccine.

Democratic pollster and grader John Zogby noted the vaccine success but said Trump has shown little “emotion or empathy” for the suffering and hasn’t cut a virus stimulus package yet. He graded an “F.”

Jed Babbin
Grade C+

Trump’s week slipped past quickly, the news dominated by the Supreme Court action on the election suit and the approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

The beyond-the-last-ditch Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn the election’s results was dismissed by the Supreme Court on Friday. The Electoral College will meet and vote on Monday. It’s certain that Joe Biden will be elected president, so it’s “game over” for Trump.

Meanwhile, after the United Kingdom began administering the Pfizer vaccine last week, Canada is going to do the same next week. The FDA was still slogging its way through cobwebs of red tape until White House chief of staff Mark Meadows reportedly made FDA chief Stephen Hahn an offer he couldn’t refuse: authorize the vaccine or resign by day’s end. The FDA authorized the use of the vaccine in the United States, and shots should be available beginning next week.

The vaccine and Trump’s Operation Warp Speed are an historic achievement that couldn’t have happened so quickly without Trump’s forceful and enthusiastic support. History will record it as such, though the media will try to give the incoming Biden administration the credit.

Jobless claims are up again due to various governors and mayors imposing new lockdown orders. The economy is suffering again, but the governors are on cruise control.

Trump’s other achievement this week was engineering Morocco’s commitment to normal relations with Israel at the cost of U.S. recognition of Moroccan control of the Western Sahara territory. Meanwhile, the rumor that Trump will have a rally in Florida timed to compete with Biden’s inauguration was apparently spread by the White House. If that rumor proves true, the rally would be a tawdry end to Trump’s presidency.

John Zogby
Grade F

President Trump’s conservative-majority Supreme Court refused to hear a bogus argument brought by Texas and 17 state attorneys general to reject election results in four battleground states. In addition to having no merit whatsoever, the attempt only managed to generate even more bad will among local officials in those states and further split the Republican Party.

Over 100 Republican members of the House of Representatives went along with the gambit. Does this mean that Trump’s own party repudiates democracy and election majorities?

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Jobless claims shot up dramatically this past week, and record numbers of people are dying from, and testing positive, for COVID-19. Yes, a vaccine is only days away, but the president still lacks any emotion or empathy for human suffering, and he still has not been able to seal a deal with Congress to offer some relief.

Jed Babbin is a Washington Examiner contributor and former deputy undersecretary of defense in the administration of former President George H.W. Bush. Follow him on Twitter @jedbabbin

John Zogby is the founder of the Zogby Poll and senior partner at John Zogby Strategies. His weekly podcast with son and partner Jeremy Zogby can be heard here. Follow him on Twitter @TheJohnZogby