A couple of weeks ago – after the Trump campaign rally in Tulsa during which there was no enforcement of mask wearing or other coronavirus protections – I felt it was the right moment to examine how the president is handling the crisis. I wanted a leadership scholar to offer an honest, diatribe-free analysis of President Trump’s management of the pandemic, set within the historic context of how other leaders have handled similar crises, including those who have failed.

It comes down to trust, explains University of Richmond leadership scholar Kenneth Ruscio in an elegant and thoughtful essay. The absence of trust not only “jeopardizes an effective response to a health crisis,” he writes, but “also creates a political crisis, a loss of faith in democracy as a way to govern ourselves.”

Also today:

Naomi Schalit

Senior Editor, Politics + Society

President Donald Trump at the Tulsa campaign rally, where he said he had slowed down COVID-19 testing to keep the numbers low. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Leaders like Trump fail if they cannot speak the truth and earn trust

Kenneth P. Ruscio, University of Richmond

The absence of trust in a nation's leader and government jeopardizes an effective response to a health crisis. It also creates a political crisis, a loss of faith in democracy.


Ethics + Religion


Economy + Business

  • Corporate activism is more than a marketing gimmick

    Cory Maks-Solomon, George Washington University

    Big businesses often engage in social activism because they want to sway public policy outcomes. They’re not exclusively trying to appeal to liberal customers.

Environment + Energy

Science + Technology

Politics + Society

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