The Anatomy of a Crisis

Dr. Louis Perron
blog post louis

What happened last week when Donald Trump was diagnosed with Covid-19 is a real crisis. I say this because oftentimes when people talk about a crisis, it is actually more a problem rather than a real crisis they are dealing with.

Let us use this event to explore the anatomy of a crisis:

Every crisis has a point of no return, when the crisis breaks, and after which things will never be the same again as before the crisis. In this case, the point of no return was when the test results for the president and First Lady Melania came back and were made public.

Think about who this will be a crisis for. The announcement of the positive test results for two people will have tremendous implications for countless other people: the vice president, the staff of the president (the White House and government of the USA is now a corona hotspot), Democratic opponent Joe Biden, the family of the president, people who attended the debate, the fundraiser, or the event for the Supreme Court nomination. His campaign manager, several close advisers and several U.S. senators tested positive as well.

First thing one has to do in a crisis situation is to get all the facts straight: How long has he been contagious and who could all be affected? What happens if worst comes to worst? Could the election be delayed? Who would replace him if ever that would be needed?

When managing a crisis, think about pictures: If anything, Donald Trump understands that one. This is why he is releasing videos of himself at the hospital that show him up and working. In another video, he is greeting supporters. I am sure the president wants footage of him leaving the hospital as soon as possible.

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