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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2021

Oluwole Owoye and Olugbenga A. Onafowora

The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine whether the massive spreads and fatalities of the COVID-19 pandemic in the USA, the country with the most advanced…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine whether the massive spreads and fatalities of the COVID-19 pandemic in the USA, the country with the most advanced medical technology in the world, are symptomatic of leadership failure. The authors posit that when political leaders, such as the President of the USA, in conjunction with a group of state governors and city mayors, employed conspiracy theories and disinformation to achieve their political goals, they contributed to the massive spreads and fatalities of the virus, and they also undermined the credibility of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the health-care professionals in providing the pertinent control guidelines and true scientific-based medical information.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a review of current studies that address the handling of global infectious diseases to build a better understanding of the issue of pandemics. They then employed a theoretical framework to link the massive spreads and fatalities of the COVID-19 pandemic to political leaders, such as President Trump and the group of obsequious state governors and city mayors, who propagated conspiracy theories and disinformation through social media platforms to downplay the severity of the virus. The authors compared the massive spreads and fatalities of the COVID-19 pandemic in the USA under President Trump to President Obama who handled H1N1, Ebola, Zika and Dengue. More importantly, the authors compared President Trump's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic to other political leaders in advanced countries where there were no concerted efforts to spread conspiracy theories and disinformation about the health risks of COVID-19 pandemic.

Findings

The authors' theoretical analysis alluded to the fact that political leaders, such as President Trump, who are engulfed in self-deceptions, self-projections and self-aggrandizements would engage in self-promotion and avoid accountability for their missteps in handling global pandemic shocks. In contrast, political leaders in other advanced countries did not downplay the severity thus their ability to curtail the spreads and fatalities of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research limitations/implications

The theoretical viewpoints presented in this paper along with the derivations of the spreads–fatalities curtailment coefficients and the spread–fatality upsurge coefficients under Presidents Obama and Trump, respectively, may not be replicable. Given this plausible limitation, future research may need to provide a deep analysis of the amplifications of conspiracy theories and disinformation because they are now deeply rooted in the political economy of the USA. Furthermore, since scientists and medical professionals may not be able to forecast future epidemics or pandemics with pin-point accuracy nor predict how political leaders would disseminate health risks information associated with different pathogens, it is imperative that future research addresses the positive or adverse effects of conspiracy theories and disinformation that are now easily propagated simultaneously through different social media platforms, which are currently protected under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The multiplier effects of conspiracy theories and disinformation will continue to amplify the division about the authenticity of COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence or reemergence of other pathogens in the foreseeable future.

Originality/value

The authors derived the unique spreads-fatalities curtailment coefficients to demonstrate how President Obama used effective collaboration and coordination at all levels of government in conjunction with medical experts to curtail the spreads and fatalities associated with H1N1, Ebola, Zika and Dengue. They further derived the spreads-fatalities upsurge coefficients to highlight how President Trump contributed to the spreads and fatalities of COVID-19 pandemic through his inability to collaborate and coordinate with state governors, city mayors and different health-care agencies at the national and international levels.

Details

International Journal of Public Leadership, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4929

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Article
Publication date: 20 August 2021

Dalia M. Hamed

This research is a critical discourse analysis (CDA) of Trump's speech on January 6, 2021, which results in his supporters' storming the US Capitol in order to challenge…

Abstract

Purpose

This research is a critical discourse analysis (CDA) of Trump's speech on January 6, 2021, which results in his supporters' storming the US Capitol in order to challenge certifying Biden's victory. The Democrats accused Trump of incitement of insurrection. Consequently, Trump was impeached. This article investigates Trump's speech to label it as hate speech or free speech.

Design/methodology/approach

Analytical framework is tri-dimensional. The textual analysis is based on Halliday's notion of process types and Huckin's discourse tools of foregrounding and topicalization. The socio-cognitive analysis is based on Van Dijk's ideological square and his theory of mental models. The philosophical dimension is founded on Habermas's theory of discourse. These parameters are the cornerstones of the barometer that will be utilized to reach an objective evaluation of Trump's speech.

Findings

Findings suggest that Trump usually endows “I, We, You” with topic positions to lay importance on himself and his supporters. He frequently uses material process to urge the crowds' action. He categorizes Americans into two conflicting poles: He and his supporters versus the media and the Democrats. Mental models are created and activated so that the other is always negatively depicted. Reports about corruption are denied in court. Despite that, Trump repeats such reports. This is immoral in Habermas's terms. The study concludes that Trump delivered hate speech in order to incite the mob to act in a manner that may change the election results.

Originality/value

The study is original in its tri-dimensional framework and its data of analysis.

Details

Journal of Humanities and Applied Social Sciences, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2632-279X

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Crises and Popular Dissent
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-362-5

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Book part
Publication date: 4 November 2021

Bharat Mehra and Joseph Winberry

This chapter explores “politic talks” (also known as political information) on the websites of academic libraries in land-grant state universities of the South in the…

Abstract

This chapter explores “politic talks” (also known as political information) on the websites of academic libraries in land-grant state universities of the South in the context of a global retreat of democracy that emerged during former President Trump’s regime as the 45th President of the United States. The exploratory qualitative evaluation applies website content analysis of seven information offerings in three categories that include: (1) information sources (collections, resources), information policy and planning (assigned role, strategic representation), and connections (internal, external, news and events). Promising practices and illustrative examples of “politic talks” representation on academic library websites show how they are serving as significant providers of political information during current politically turbulent times. The discussion of these findings in relation to each state’s voting likelihood based on trends since 2000 has significant political implications in enhancing the role of academic libraries moving forward.

Details

Libraries and the Global Retreat of Democracy: Confronting Polarization, Misinformation, and Suppression
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-597-2

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Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2019

Tom Lourie

In this chapter, I analyze the decision calculus of President Donald Trump, using the Applied Decision Analysis (ADA) method (Mintz, 2005, Mintz & DeRouen, 2010). I…

Abstract

In this chapter, I analyze the decision calculus of President Donald Trump, using the Applied Decision Analysis (ADA) method (Mintz, 2005, Mintz & DeRouen, 2010). I analyze seven foreign policy decisions taken in the first six months of Trump’s presidency. I find that in his decision-making process, President Trump applies six dimensions. My analysis reveals that the imagery dimension has affected President Trump’s decisions across the board, and led to the rejection of non-compensatory alternatives. Based on my research, I conclude that President Trump demonstrated a poliheuristic decision code. Furthermore, from my analysis derives that President Trump’s decision-making process is mostly intuitive. Moreover, this chapter reveals a polythink syndrome in Trump’s decision unit, manifested in the battle between his two groups of advisors, known as the nationalists and globalists.

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Book part
Publication date: 8 August 2017

Peter Kivisto

Abstract

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The Trump Phenomenon
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-368-5

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Book part
Publication date: 6 September 2021

Christian Fuchs

This chapter asks: How has Donald Trump communicated about COVID-19 on Twitter? How have conspiracy theories influenced his Twitter communication about COVID-19? Utilising…

Abstract

This chapter asks: How has Donald Trump communicated about COVID-19 on Twitter? How have conspiracy theories influenced his Twitter communication about COVID-19? Utilising critical discourse analysis, it analysed tweets in which Trump communicated about COVID-19 and showed that he used social media to spread conspiracy theories and fake news about COVID-19.

The findings show that Donald Trump uses social media such as Twitter for spreading far-right ideology, conspiracy theories and fake news. He makes use of a variety of linguistic ideological devices. In the context of COVID-19, Trump has spread a variety of conspiracy theories to his millions of followers, which has contributed to the intensification of risks and harms at the time of the worst global health crisis in 100 years.

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Communicating COVID-19
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-720-7

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Details

Trump Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-779-9

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Book part
Publication date: 8 August 2017

Peter Kivisto

Abstract

Details

The Trump Phenomenon
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-368-5

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Book part
Publication date: 5 February 2019

Eric O. Silva

Through an ethnographic content analysis of 936 letters to the editor, op-eds, and editorials and 1,195 online comments, this chapter examines how participants in the…

Abstract

Through an ethnographic content analysis of 936 letters to the editor, op-eds, and editorials and 1,195 online comments, this chapter examines how participants in the public sphere neutralized accusations of racism leveled against Donald Trump in the early phase of his presidential campaign. The study shows that both supporters and opponents effectively (if not purposefully) neutralized racism through a number of techniques. Trump’s opponents neutralized racism by calling attention to a number of other perceived flaws in his candidacy. Trump’s supporters obscured the charges of racism by endorsing him and calling attention to positive qualities. Others neutralized racism by changing the subject or making neutral observations. Supporters neutralized charges of racism in three additional ways. Most commonly, they framed Trump’s comments as accurate. Some defensively drew a distinction between legal and illegal immigration. A relative few claimed that others were also racist or xenophobic. That there were a number of ways of defining Trump’s stance toward Mexican immigrants demonstrates the role of human agency in producing social structures. Structural factors in the discursive field such as the stock of existing conservative frames, Trump’s absurdity shield, and political partisanship also facilitated the neutralization of accusations of racism.

Details

The Interaction Order
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-546-7

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