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Letters to the Editor: It’s unfair to blame Trump for the record U.S. GDP decline

Stores shut down
A boutique is shut down on University Avenue in San Diego on May 28.
(Sam Hodgson / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

To the editor: As much as I dislike President Trump, I do not think the current economic situation can be or should be attributed to him, contrary to what your headline implies. (“Record collapse in GDP points to challenges for economic recovery — and Trump,” July 30)

Perhaps if he had provided the leadership we expect of our presidents, we would be more on the road to recovery. But even with that, the economy would have suffered a downturn.

It’s enough to point out his reelection plans hinged on how well the economy was doing, and that has been blown to smithereens — but basically, it is not of his doing.

John Snyder, Newbury Park

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To the editor: Thanks for reporting on the record second-quarter drop in the country’s gross domestic product on your front page, and relegating Trump’s absurd insinuation that he may delay the election elsewhere.

Unfortunately, that has not been the MO of most media outlets.

It is as much a coincidence that Trump made this particular, ridiculous claim on the same day as the devastating second-quarter results were released as it is that a trove of anti-Hillary Clinton material was released on the heels of the “Access Hollywood” tape before the 2016 election.

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Well-timed diversions from the facts at hand are the cornerstones of this president’s playbook. They are all he has left. The media must stop buying into them. Report the news.

Matt Stellato, Westchester

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To the editor: The GDP number is a lagging indicator.

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The various states that closed down their economic activity destroyed their respective GDPs. Taken in total, this massive elimination of economic activity did dramatically change the GDP for the period being measured.

This “news” should have been expected as the result of the elimination of a high percentage of economic output. It should not be weaponized to bash Trump and the GOP.

David L. McDaniel, Capistrano Beach

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To the editor: The 32.9% was the annualized rate. The decline in the second quarter was 9.5%.

Since the pandemic is worldwide, it would be helpful to compare the U.S. GDP decline to that of the European Union. The BBC reported the second quarter GDP decline in the EU was 12.1%, with Spain’s decline at 18.5% and even powerhouse Germany’s at 10.1%.

Your headline says this is a big blow to Trump. Would it follow that the larger decline in the GDP in Europe would be a big blow to the leaders of Europe’s largest economies?

Steve Murray, Huntington Beach


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