In an interview on Bloomberg Daybreak, Research Associate Elliott Brennan described President Trump’s response to the anti-racism protests unfolding in the United States as a continuation of how the President has approached much of his presidency, leaning into "pre-existing grievances and amplified them”.
“It’s given him some political success but in a time of crisis he’s really politically activated both sides of the spectrum and it’s having disastrous effects across the country,” Mr Brennan said.
“Obviously, these tensions stretch much further back than the Trump administration, but he’s acted to divide the nation when many recent presidents would have sought to unify it.”
The overflow of tensions could also feedback into the economic woes of the United States.
“There were so many businesses that were already hurting from COVID-19 lockdowns and for all the talk of a rebound in the economy, nationwide rioting just entrenches those economic losses. These stores are not able to just re-open now,” Mr Brennan said.
“There’s a lot of rebuilding, a lot of repairing, and a lot of healing across both economic and racial lines in the United States that’s going to have to take place.”
And while grappling with the domestic unrest alongside the carnage of COVID-19, the United States also continues to face escalating tensions on the international stage, in particular with China.
Mr Brennan said the United States’ international reputation is “certainly on the line” and warned the way in which the protests are being handled offers “every opportunity for foreign actors to take advantage”.