Trump confronts twin challenges: health and credibility

All presidents shade the truth or outright lie at times, whether it’s to protect national security or to hide embarrassing personal conduct. But with just four weeks until Election Day, as President Donald Trump himself faces down the coronavirus that has killed 209,000 Americans, a long-building lack of credibility with a majority of the public may be his biggest weakness. 

Only 34% of American adults believe President Trump has relayed truthful information about the virus, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll taken after his own diagnosis was revealed last Friday. 

From misstating the crowd size on Inauguration Day to claims that Mexico will pay for a southern border wall, Mr. Trump has racked up thousands of false statements – some obvious exaggerations, others more consequential. The risks may go beyond Mr. Trump’s brand name as a politician – including potentially leading the public not to believe the president during an emergency

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