Even as China’s role in creating the COVID-19 crisis becomes more clear, the left is trying to blame President Donald Trump for the resulting deaths. None of it makes sense, and all of it is beneath contempt at a time when the country is still at war with this invisible enemy.
On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN’s “State of the Union” that “The president’s denial at the beginning was deadly. His delay in getting equipment to where it’s needed is deadly … As the president fiddles, people are dying.”
While Pelosi was uttering this shameless screed, intelligence officials were putting the finishing touches on a report showing how China has concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak and has been underreporting how many contracted the disease and the number of deaths.
When that report became public, Vice President Mike Pence noted that “What appears evident now is that long before the world learned in December that China was dealing with this, and maybe as much as a month earlier than that, that the outbreak was real in China.”
State Department immunologist Dr. Deborah Birx added that “The medical community interpreted the Chinese data as: This was serious, but smaller than anyone expected.”
Meanwhile, Pelosi, and many other Democrats now attacking Trump for being dismissive of the virus early on were themselves downplaying the virus.
In fact, on Feb. 24, Pelosi was in San Francisco, saying “come to Chinatown.” Grabien News compiled a series of clips with Pelosi et al. saying COVID-19 was no big deal.
What’s more, Pelosi didn’t manage to get her party to hold a coronavirus hearing in the House until March 4 — more than a month after Trump declared it a public health emergency.
Also, by the way, Trump brought up coronavirus in his State of the Union speech in February. The text of that speech, you will recall, was dramatically ripped in two by Pelosi once Trump had finished.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was also downplaying the virus well into March, then blamed Trump for New York City’s problems. The Washington Post, to it’s credit, gathered up a many of these clips.
When de Blasio was asked about his incredible double standard, his response was: “We should not be focusing, in my view, on anything looking back on any level of government right now.”
So, too, was the sainted Dr. Anthony Fauci playing down the seriousness of the virus. In late January, he told the public that “This is not something that the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about.” If Trump is somehow guilty of negligence, what does that say about the health expert everyone is now turning to for advice?
The truth is that, for the left, no matter what Trump does, it’s wrong.
They attacked him in late January for issuing a travel ban from China, and “experts” claimed it would backfire. In fact, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in early February that travel bans and restrictions weren’t needed to stop the outbreak and could “have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit.”
There’s another problem with the left’s attempts to blame Trump — the data don’t support it.
As of this writing, there were 811 confirmed cases of coronavirus per million people in the U.S. In supposedly more enlightened countries such as Switzerland, the rate is 2,302 per million. In Germany, it’s 1,083. In Norway, 996.
The fatality rate in Italy is 12%. In France, it’s 10%. In Sweden, it’s almost 6%. In the U.S., it’s 2.6%.
In terms of deaths per million population, the U.S. ranks below Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy and 10 other countries.
Whatever Trump is doing, it’s far better than those countries.
So, you have a pandemic that started in China, which then lied about the scope and scale of the outbreak. And a public health threat was initially downplayed by Democrats and the World Health Organization, in some cases long after Trump declared it a public health emergency.
But sure, let’s blame Trump for every death in the U.S.
We’re still not entirely convinced that the lethality of the disease isn’t being exaggerated, or that the scale of the response – shutting down the entire economy for nearly two months – isn’t a vast overreaction that will cause more harm than good.
If either of those turn out to be the case, you can bet Democrats will be the ones yelling the loudest.
— Written by John Merline