Commentary

Biden Told Americans Not To 'Panic' About COVID in February, Media Attacks Trump for Saying the Same Thing

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As President Donald Trump finds himself the target of an all-out media assault over allegations he downplayed the threat posed by the coronavirus, it’s worth remembering that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was on record with other Democrats who seriously minimized the contagion.

Trump spoke with Bob Woodward, a fossil of a reporter from the Watergate era, in a series of interviews spanning over a period of months ending in July, and allegedly downplayed the virus before it became a full-fledged pandemic, if you believe the claims in Woodward’s new book.

Trump reportedly told Woodward that the virus was airborne and highly contagious, according to CNN, and was quoted by Woodward as saying it was “more deadly than even your strenuous flus.”

The book’s portrayal of the conversations with Trump actually destroys the media’s narrative that an ineffectual Trump blindly pushed optimism in February and March.

It also portrays Trump as quite bold and transparent, as Woodward is a reporter with a partisan track record.

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Trump reportedly told Woodward he was aware of the potential for danger with regard to the coronavirus.

News that that Trump referred to the coronavirus as “deadly stuff” as far back as Feb. 7 shows that he knew what the country might be up against, which might have been why he acted early in suspending flights from China to the U.S. in January — even as he dealt with a partisan impeachment charade which was 100 percent political.

Nevertheless, Biden went on the attack this week after parts of Trump’s interviews with Woodward were published.

“He had the information,” Biden said Wednesday at a campaign event in Warren, Michigan, according to CNBC. “He knew how dangerous it was. And while this deadly disease ripped through our nation, he failed to do his job on purpose.”

Do you think President Trump is being unfairly criticized?

“It was a life-and-death betrayal of the American people. It’s beyond despicable. It’s a dereliction of duty. It’s a disgrace.”

We don’t know exactly what Trump and other high-level officials knew about the virus before the first American died from the contagion, but we can assume the president acted in the best interests of the American people.

His track record as president is evidence that should lead even Trump’s most ardent critics to that conclusion.

He deserves the benefit of the doubt.

President Harry Truman was informed about potential Soviet nuke tests 25 days before he told the American people in 1949 that a nuclear arms race had begun.

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He probably had his reasons.

Trump didn’t deny Woodward’s claims on the subject Wednesday, when he told reporters, “I don’t want people to be frightened.”

“Well, I think if you said ‘in order to reduce panic,’ perhaps that’s so. The fact is, I’m a cheerleader for this country, I love our country, and I don’t want people to be frightened. I don’t want to create panic, as you say. And certainly, I’m not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy,” Trump said, according to an official White House transcript of his comments.

“We want to show confidence. We want to show strength. We want to show strength as a nation,” Trump added.

Perhaps the president intended to buy time for critical supply lines while avoiding mass pandemonium, and maybe he did hope for the best while he took actions to combat the health crisis of the century.

The virus was already on American shores, and as we now know, it was never going to be stopped.

No country stopped the spread of the virus.

No mitigation strategies ever worked, and mass panic did ensue in March, when toilet paper and hand sanitizer shortages frightened people even more.

But let’s dissect how Biden and Democrats handled news of the coronavirus.

“We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency,” Biden tweeted on Feb. 1.

On Feb. 28, Biden said at a rally in South Carolina that it was “not a time to panic about coronavirus.”

Around this same time, other Democrats were actively encouraging people to gather in large groups.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi encouraged gatherings in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

“It’s exciting to be here, especially at this time, to be able to be unified with our community. But we want to be vigilant about what is out there in other places, we want to be careful about how we deal with it,” the California Democrat said, Newsweek reported.

“But we do want to say to people, come to Chinatown. Here we are, we’re careful, safe,” she said on Feb. 24, apparently putting fears about anti-Chinese sentiment over public health.

You have to assume that Pelosi was aware of the potential threat posed by the virus, as she is the most powerful Democratic lawmaker in Washington.

In a news release that hasn’t aged well, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also encouraged citizens of his city to visit Chinatown in February.

“We’re in Flushing today to embrace Asian-American owned small businesses and say to all New Yorkers: New York City’s Chinatowns are open for business!” the leftist mayor said less than a week after Trump reportedly told Woodward he was aware the virus could be serious.

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said on the same day, “It is important to support the Chinese community in New York City … The risk of infection to New Yorkers is low. There is no need to avoid public spaces. I urge everyone to dine and shop as usual.”

It only gets worse for Democrats:

Back to Biden, though, who apparently took the threat of the coronavirus so seriously, he never asked to suspend Super Tuesday voting.

That voting of course worked in the favor of the former vice president, as his party’s establishment succeeded in playing a game of checkers that gave Biden a lead over then-frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, which he would never overcome.

Was Biden playing politics during a pandemic which he now says he could have mitigated, if not prevented?

His national press secretary, TJ Ducklo, refused to give a coherent answer to Fox News host Bret Baier, who asked him that question directly on Thursday.

Ducklo is right about one thing: Trump was the president when a foreign illness began taking American lives — and it’s a good thing he was.

The last thing a once-in-a-century pandemic needed was virtue signaling about xenophobia from Democrats in the White House while everything else was going on.

There also remains this tweet from the World Health Organization, which hangs out there as a contact reminder that much was to be learned about the coronavirus.

While Democrats and the media snipe at Trump over the reported comments to Woodward, it is important to remember he took what were probably the best actions he could at the time, when little was known about the coronavirus.

He quietly took action while not telling Americans, “You’ll all be dead soon!”

Biden was a part of the last administration, which botched the Swine Flu pandemic, as Politico reported in great detail.

His statements since February leave little doubt he would have made a quagmire of the current health crisis.

Then again, had Hillary Clinton won in 2016, the media probably would have downplayed the coronavirus, just as it did with H1N1 in 2009.

We might not even be hearing about any of this now, had Clinton won the last election.

But Trump won, and the coronavirus is a convenient topic for Democrats and the media to attack Trump over.

According to a UCLA study released Thursday, health experts in Los Angeles now believe the coronavirus may have been running rampant in the People’s Republic of California last December, before China had even announced the Wuhan outbreak.

Perhaps the pandemic was one that was destined to sweep the globe, no matter what.

No country stopped it.

Perhaps President Trump made the best decisions he could with the available information.

He also never violated any civil liberties, which can’t be said for Democrats, many of whom packed coronavirus-positive patients into nursing homes with vulnerable residents.

We know he never encouraged Americans to visit Chinatown.

We know no person in need of a hospital bed in this country was ever denied one, and multiple reports indicate the death toll has been artificially inflated.

The entire globe has endured a horrible tragedy, and the country’s success in testing has probably made the situation worse from an optics standpoint.

More testing equals more cases, which can be blamed on Trump by Biden and the media.

Of course, Biden is still complaining there is not enough testing.

That’s assuming Biden’s statements on the matter can even be attributed to him.

It looks more and more like the coronavirus pandemic was unavoidable.

But going forward, the country is itching for an economic comeback.

And President Trump is better suited to lead the country through that comeback than anyone — especially Biden.

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Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has authored thousands of news articles throughout his career. He has also worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.




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