I gather that Joe Biden is making the Wuhan coronavirus his number one, and possibly only, substantive campaign issue. I don’t blame him. What else of substance does he have?
Until the virus hit, America was going great. Since then, in addition to the pandemic, we’ve had riots and a surge in homicides, but Biden can’t plausibly blame President Trump for them. In fact, some unwritten rule seems to bar him from mentioning riots and crime in the cities (nearly all of them run by Dems).
Trump’s response to the Wuhan coronavirus has been mixed, in my opinion. This was to be expected considering how novel the virus is and how little we knew (and still know) about it.
Joe Biden’s response to the virus makes Trump’s look masterful. Biden and his team made a series of statements in the first few months of the year that denied the seriousness of the virus and criticized President Trump for taking steps to prevent its spread.
This, too, was to be expected. Hack that he is, Biden has been wrong on almost every national security issue for as long as anyone can remember. He even advised Barack Obama against undertaking the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
Karl Rove put together a list of Biden’s greatest misses on the coronavirus. He presented it on one of the Fox News programs last night.
Here is Rove’s list:
1) Jan. 31: In response to Trump’s travel ban, Biden says “this is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia – hysterical xenophobia.”
2) Early February: Biden public health advisory committee member says the coronavirus is less lethal than the SARS virus and a top aide says this “is probably not a serious epidemic.”
3) Mid February: Top Biden adviser says “we don”t have a Covid epidemic, we have a fear epidemic.”
4) Late February: Biden health adviser Zeke Emmanuel says many experts view the virus “like the flu” and expect it to dissipate with warmer weather moving to the southern hemisphere. Masks will not help, he adds.
5) Early March: Biden holds a mass indoor rally and criticizes the European travel ban as ineffective and “counterproductive.”
6) Mid March: Regarding Trump’s January 31st decision to close travel to China, Biden says “stop the xenophobic fear mongering.”
Rove also said that as vice president, Biden presided, along with President Obama, over the depletion of the national strategic stockpile of the PPE equipment that health professionals require in an epidemic. The Obama-Biden administration did not replenish it. Thus, the equipment that was needed most by health care professionals was no longer available when the virus hit the U.S.
Finally, Rove said that in a televised interview with Joy Reid two weeks ago, Biden listed six elements of his plan to deal with the pandemic. According to Rove, all six elements of his plan are things Trump has already done.
UPDATE: Here are Rove’s specifics regarding how Trump has already done the things Biden says need to be done in response to the pandemic.
NOTE: This post has been revised to distinguish between statements made by Biden and statements made by his key advisers.