by WorldTribune Staff, August 28, 2020
Joe Biden is “politically vulnerable” on the coronavirus pandemic and President Donald Trump “should prosecute that case,” Karl Rove noted in an Aug. 26 op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.
In delivering a takedown of Biden’s assertion he would have handled the pandemic better than Trump, Rove noted that “as the pandemic came on, there was no mention of masks, social distancing or lockdowns from Biden — and until mid-March, no calls for more protective gear, faster vaccine development or using the Defense Production Act.”
During the Democratic National Convention, Biden insisted he would have handled the covid crisis better because he had grasped the threat from the beginning.
Rove noted that “is a fabrication. But the former vice president likes to say it anyway.”
In June Biden claimed Trump “did not listen to guys like me back in January saying we have a problem, a pandemic is on the way. If he had listened to me and others and acted just one week earlier to deal with this virus, there’d be 36,000 fewer people dead.”
Rove pointed out that comments made by Biden and his handlers in the early going of the pandemic “show little evidence he was on top of anything.”
On Jan. 31, the day Trump issued a China travel ban, Biden slammed what he called Trump’s “hysterical xenophobia and fear-mongering.” The next day, Rove noted, that Biden seemed to attack the ban again, saying, “Disease has no borders.”
Ron Klain, a longtime top adviser and former Biden chief of staff, opposed a travel ban on Jan. 28, a few days before it was announced, calling it “premature.” Other Biden advisers were also dismissive. On Jan. 30, Biden confidant and coronavirus adviser Zeke Emanuel told CNBC viewers to “take a very big breath, slow down, and stop panicking and being hysterical.” The virus will “go down as spring comes up.”
Rove pointed out that “throughout February, Biden’s lieutenants kept minimizing the threat.”
• In a Feb. 6 op-ed, Biden coronavirus adviser Irwin Redlener wrote that a global pandemic was “not very likely” and predicted the chances of “getting a severe, potentially lethal form of the Wuhan virus is negligible.”
•On Feb. 11 Klain played down the likelihood that covid would become “a serious epidemic.” “The evidence suggests it’s probably not that,” he said. Two days later, Klain tweeted, “We don’t have a COVID-19 epidemic in the U.S. but we are starting to see a fear epidemic.”
• Suggesting in a Feb. 20 interview that there’d been “an overreaction,” Emanuel again suggested “warm weather is going to come and, just like with the flu, the coronavirus is going to go down.”
• On Feb. 24 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged tourists in San Francisco to “come to Chinatown.” Klain echoed her three days later, saying people should not be dissuaded by “needless fears about coronavirus.” He added that everyone “should tonight go down to Chinatown in their city and buy dinner or go shopping.”
• On Feb. 29, with news of the first U.S. coronavirus death, Emanuel told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “running out and getting a mask is not going to help.”
Biden also continued to hold large rallies until March 9 and talked up in-person voting as late as April 2, Rove noted.
“Biden can fault the Trump administration for how it dealt with a once-in-a-century pandemic,” Rove wrote. “But he can’t pretend he was right when he was wrong, that he knew better when he didn’t, that his and his team’s advice was good when it wasn’t. Biden is politically vulnerable on Covid-19. The president should prosecute that case.”