According to CNN, this is a common theme emerging among the world’s less-than-moral heads-of-state. But where Donald Trump sets himself apart from leaders in countries like China and Bolivia, where COVID is being used to delay elections amid public outcry, is in his blatant admission of misconduct.

Professor of democracy at the University of Birmingham, Nic Cheesman, believes, “On one hand, [Trump] is claiming that postal voting could delegitimize the election while openly admitting that he opposes funding the post office to suppress the vote. It’s a move from the populist playbook: blame someone else for the thing you yourself are doing.”

Cheesman sees the post office as an obvious target for voter suppression amid the pandemic. Trump has thus far been successful in his efforts to use the USPS as a vehicle to manipulate the results of the election, cutting funding and appointing one of his ally’s as the department’s head. 

The British professor sees real long-term risks that Trump could “undermine confidence in the electoral process, risking political violence and seeking alternatives to democracy. And if that happens in America, it could easily have a ripple effect around the world. “You can read Cheesman’s comments in full, as he dissects the long-term impact of disinfo, here.