The coronavirus recession began with the sharpest economic contraction on record—a 32.9% drop in second quarter GDP. Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman joined The Final Round to discuss why he thinks the V-shaped recovery is gone and gives this week's Trumpometer reading.
SEANA SMITH: I mean, it was clearly a tough week for President Trump when you take a look at the econ data that we got out. So how did he do from your point of view?
RICK NEWMAN: You know, the Trumpometer is losing patience, Seana. I read a very insightful piece on Yahoo Finance By Myles-- somebody. I can't remember the last name. And he pointed out that yeah, we got this terrible GDP data yesterday. But the more important, and perhaps more worrisome thing to look at, was the unemployment data. The weekly claims for initial filings. And then the continuing claims.
And some of the forecasting firms such as Oxford economics, they're combining that with the high frequency data. They look at mobility. Are people moving around or people going out? And this recovery is stalling. It has basically stalled since about the mid, middle, or the end of June. And you know, we just had a guest on saying, you know, we could get out of this mess if we would implement a national testing plan. We could be out of the woods by October 1.
And there is no national testing plan. I mean, I've just been saying this over and over. So many people have been saying, where's the plan? And President Trump is obviously looking at the polls. He threatened to delay the election this week. But nothing on the coronavirus.
So for the first time in a while, Trumpometer is officially at sad-- the lowest rating.
SEANA SMITH: Yeah, it's hard to argue with that. Because clearly, it seems like President Trump has just botched every sort of response that he's tried to give the coronavirus outbreak at this point. But when you see his numbers falling in the polls, it's interesting when you take a look at what he did do. He brought back the coronavirus-- the--
RICK NEWMAN: Briefings, yeah.
SEANA SMITH: Briefings that they do, right. And that hasn't helped at all. He's tried to say that you should wear a mask. That doesn't really seem to work. So it's interesting, because it's almost like basically what you said, he's almost out of options at this point.
RICK NEWMAN: Well, we know what Trump is doing. I mean, for him, it's all about marketing, and image, and theme. And I'm going to go back to what Dr. Hotez just said, because he's echoing so many other people that say what you need from the federal government. I mean, he made a great point. You need top cover from the federal government for the governor in Texas and Florida who otherwise are reluctant to impose these mask-wearing requirements and certain types of business lockdowns.
Give them the top cover from the federal government so that they can do it. Establish a national standard for all the places that have infection rates above a certain level and so forth. And we've got nothing.
So here's what I think Trump's real strategy is, you know, he's been dismissing this all along. And he's just not going to change his tune on that. I think Trump is going all in on a vaccine at this point. I think whether we have a vaccine by election day or not, Trump is going to tell us that we have a vaccine by election day. He does keep making visits to these labs and these facilities where they're trying to develop the vaccine.
I think that's how he's going to play this. The question is, will we actually have anything that's legitimate by election day? I mean, it's three months from now. It seems unlikely. Though, perhaps we'll be close. But even if Trump does start saying we have a vaccine, will anybody believe it?