Keep America Great

Master brander Donald Trump may want to rethink his official 2020 campaign slogan, "Keep America Great," because things aren't looking so great these days.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced April 29 that the economy shrank at a 4.8 percent annual clip during the first quarter.

That drop was worse than expected, exceeding the four percent decline that was projected by economists, according to the Financial Times. It marks the biggest drop in GDP since the 8.4 percent contraction in 2008 during the financial meltdown.

Much more bad news is on tap. Kevin Hassett, a White House economic advisor, predicts a "big negative number" for the second quarter, one that is likely to fall in the 30 percent to 40 percent range.

There will be an additional sign of the collapsing economy next week when the Labor Dept. releases jobless claims.

More than 30M Americans lost their jobs during the past five weeks.

Most Americans will be back on the job once the pandemic ebbs and the national lockdowns are called off.

But the cold reality: Many won't be returning to work as companies realize the productivity achieved by at-home technology-enabled employees will allow them to downsize workforces during the "new normal."

Keep America Great is a loser of a campaign slogan. Perhaps Trump can convince backers that his term was just a bad dream or "fake news."

That would allow him to start fresh and return to the "Make America Great Again" slogan.

Rally no more… Trump has been using his off-the-wall daily press briefings as substitutes for his campaign rallies. His wild and confusing performances during the briefings, though. have tanked his approval ratings.

The president must be itching to get back on the road to connect with his die-hard base.

A new poll from Morning Consult suggests that Trump rallies may not be what they used to be due to the spread of COVID-19 into Red States.

The poll found that only 41 percent of respondents say they feel comfortable in attending a rally in the next six months. The remainder either didn't know or had no opinion

That's cutting it very close for the president. Election Day is November 3.

"Who was the masked man" was the question asked at the end of every TV episode of "The Adventures of the Lone Ranger."

Vice president Mike Pence updated that question during his April 28 visit to the Mayo Clinic, where he was the only unmasked person in the area where COVID-19 patients are treated, in violation of the hospital's rules.

Pence, who heads the White House coronavirus task force, ignored Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines about wearing masks in public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The VP gave the lame excuse for not wearing a mask, saying he wanted to be able to look medical staffers in the eye and say thank you.

Does the White House COVID-19 czar really believe masks are supposed to cover the wearer's eyes?

The fallback excuse was just as lame. He said he's tested every day for COVID-19 and is free of the disease.

Note to Mike: testing does not guarantee immunity. You could get a negative test and then walk down the hall and chat up an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19. Bingo, you got it.

The unmasked Pence symbolized the White House indifference to COVID-19, which has killed more Americans than died in the Vietnam War and has affected one million of us.

The federal government's leader in the fight against COVID-19 sees himself as Superman, impervious to the germ.

But remember Mike; even the Man of Steel was weakened by Kryptonite.