Democratic presidential contender Michael Bloomberg, a man who became a billionaire in the financial services sector, is banking on the coronavirus to boost his campaign.
So much so, in fact, that the former New York City mayor is spending what The New York Times has estimated to be between $1.25 million and $3 million in a Sunday night ad scheduled to air in prime time at 8:30 p.m. in which he talks about the virus in a three-minute commercial.
The ad, scheduled to air on NBC and CBS, shows Bloomberg in a presidential-style setting with a backdrop of flags, including an American flag.
“Good evening, I know this has been a very worrisome week for many Americans. The coronavirus is spreading, and the economy is taking a hit. Markets have fallen because of uncertainty,” Bloomberg said in the ad.
“At times like this, it is the job of the president to reassure the public that he or she is taking all the necessary steps to protect the health and well-being of every citizen,” he said. “The public wants to know their leader is trained, informed and respected. When a problem arises, they want someone in charge who can marshal facts and expertise to confront the problem.”
“They want him or her to prepare for events like these in advance with teams of experts. Communications must be honest and transparent, so people can be confident that professionals are in charge. Trust is essential. Government’s resources must be focused and priorities clear and consistent.
“Presidents have vast tools at their disposal — and they must be used effectively and decisively,” Bloomberg continues. “This includes building strong, cooperative relationships with nations around the world to prevent and prepare for pandemics and other global emergencies that cross borders.
“The Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health must be given all of the resources necessary to do their job free of political interference. Decisions must be based on data and must empower the doctors and scientists whose job it is to keep us safe,” Bloomberg said in the ad.
Bloomberg then cited his experience as mayor, overseeing the rebuilding effort after the 9/11 attacks and dealing with “a hurricane, a blackout, attempted terror attacks, the West Nile virus and swine flu.”
“Each crisis is different, but they all require steady leadership, team building and preparation,” he said. “As Americans we have faced many challenges before, and we have overcome them together by looking out for one another — and I am confident that is how we will get through this one as well.”
President Donald Trump tossed a Twitter jab at Bloomberg over the ad.
…..a very dark and lonely path! Your reputation will never be the same!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2020
Bloomberg’s tactic was not well received on Twitter
Who is advising this knucklehead? A losing candidate trying to upstage the sitting President in front of a national audience during a possible pandemic? Nothing but downside for Bloomberg. Malpractice. https://t.co/79PNDcxB6G
— BlackJack (@BlackJackBoGre1) February 29, 2020
.@MikeBloomberg is way out of bounds here
He’s airing this 3 min attack ad about #coronavirus on NBC & CBS
Whatever your politics
Muddying the water during a public health situation is a dangerous cheap shothttps://t.co/jLVPUY8fSC
— Jim Hanson (@JimHansonDC) February 29, 2020
The Trump campaign said the president is “effectively managing the coronavirus situation and has placed the United States ahead of the curve in its comprehensive response,” according to the U.K Guardian.
“Mike Bloomberg is shamelessly politicizing the issue and only further exposing himself as an unserious candidate. He’s a joke,” the campaign said.
Bloomberg has counted on Tuesday’s Super Tuesday contests to give his late-starting campaign the momentum it needs and is relying upon his personal fortune to buy ads that will vault him ahead of other candidates.
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