With 330,891 current cases of Covid-19, this virus has affected people in every aspect of life from elections to employment. Trump has engaged in various activities that can be considered authoritarian such as spreading disinformation and silencing those who do not share the same opinion as him. People are now being forced to stay inside and quarantine themselves and because of this the primaries have been postponed. Along with Trump’s authoritarian actions, the postponement of the elections is a prime example of democratic erosion due to the fact that the election is no longer “free and fair” and is allowing Trump to stay in power. Postponing primaries (and potentially the general election) not only compromises the premise of democracy but is also one way to define Trump as an authoritarian.
Covid-19 is not the first crisis to happen amidst elections. In 1864, the civil war was drawing on in the United States yet Abraham Lincoln insisted that the presidential elections continue on. “He was unwilling to sacrifice democracy to save it” writes the New York Times. While Lincoln was unwilling to sacrifice democracy, Trump has taken a different take to the health crisis. Trump has “joked” about changing the 22nd amendment by retweeting a tweet saying that he should have two extra years in office. While Lincoln was willing to lose the upcoming election, it can be assumed that Trump will not forfeit as easily and will try to keep his power as long as he can.
One of the worst states affected by Covid-19 is New York, which makes up for ⅓ of the cases in the USA. When Governor Cuomo pleaded for more masks and ventilators Trump replied by saying that he would not heed Cuomo’s demands unless Cuomo stops criticizing the federal government. This is undemocratic because he is unwilling to give aid to those who are suffering just because the governor does not agree with him. He is putting his own selfish needs over those of the people who are dying. 
Trump has already proved himself to be an authoritarian leader time and time again with instances like him thinking Biden is not a legitimate opponent and silencing those who do not agree with him. Lust and Waldner discuss the idea of Super-Presidentialism, which states that power seeking presidents unconstrained by powerful institutions or competing centers of power initiate backsliding, or the general decline of democracy. Trump has limited press access to health officials who are criticial of his response to coronavirus and has threatened to withold aid from states who question his authority. These acts are both a prime example of authoritarianism and super-presidentialism because they involved Trump silencing those who have a differing opinion than him.
Lust aso states that the definition of a liberal democracy is a “democracy that is characterized by a substantial respect for political rights and civil liberties” including separation of powers. Trump has disregarded the separation as he tried to place a quarantine on New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. This decision is to be made by those states respective mayors and governors not the president of the United States. Though Trump has backed off and not gone through with this, Trump’s ignorance of the separation of powers is a blatant example of his disrespect for democracy. 
Trump’s handling of the whole coronavirus has been an example of his authoritarian leadership and disregard for democracy. Throughout his presidency, Trump has continued to silence those who do not agree with him no matter the circumstance and is willing to put his own needs before the needs of the people. He also ignores the seperation of powers and wants to control all action in the United States. Each action Trump takes stears the United States farther from democracy and towards authoritarianism.
I’ll be the first to admit President Trump is not my favorite president. I do believe everything you’re saying in your post, but these are very stressful times. All of the states were under prepared and under stocked when the epidemic struck. In the Vox post that you referenced to President Trump didn’t say that the governor has to stop criticizing the government in exchange for supplies. He stated that he should stop criticizing because they are doing the best they can at the moment. There are many people in the country who need help. There hasn’t been an event like this before in American history that I’m aware of. We all have to be more patient with each other if we want to get through this.
I tend to agree that the spreading of misinformation, or simply a disunified message, can be deeply troubling. Moreover, this kind of mixed messaging from the United States gives a sense of unpreparedness whilst Authoritarian countries like China receive praise (perhaps undeservedly) for having a strong show of force in regards to containment for the virus. This essentially weakens democracies all around the world whilst propping up authoritarianism. I also tend to agree that Donald Trump has made this issue worse than it needed to be given his mixed messages throughout the crisis.
Frustrations only can continue to build in the midst of COVID-19 and with a President who is making communication unclear and soft-petals the reality of care for this virus, the way that the American people, as well as allies and friends across the globe, are able to feel secure and safe when their leader is promoting misinformation. It also almost seems as though Americans want to get through COVID-19 but do not have the proper resources or information that they ned from the government.
I think that during these times of uncertainty it is imperative that we have a leader who is uniting the people and doing their best to keep the country safe. I feel that President Trump has repeatedly put American’s lives in danger. For the first couple weeks, he down played the situation and then continued to undermine the major risk it posed to all Americans. I also agree with what you said regarding President Trump will most likely be unwilling to leave office when the time comes. I think he will do everything in his power to stay in office for as long as he can. He seems to think he is above the law!