Joe Biden has been running around the country criticizing President Trump’s COVID-19 response. Some of his criticisms have been strange. For example, Biden says he would implement the Defense Production Act so manufacturers could be forced to produce needed medical supplies domestically. Perhaps he missed the news, but President Trump invoked the DPA on April 2, 2020.
While the administration preferred to negotiate with corporations to make needed supplies, they did use the power the DPA provides for leverage to nudge companies in the right direction. The team also created an unprecedented public-private partnership to approve masks and sterilization equipment, and to completely revamp domestic swab producers. It also stood up a global supply-chain operation to pick up and deliver needed supplies using exceptionally effective military logistics experts.
President Trump has said he will use the same supply-chain expertise to distribute a vaccine when it becomes available. But it seems everyone has forgotten the hundreds of details from the initial pandemic response shared daily by the Coronavirus Task Force. Joe Biden sure has. Of course, he often can’t remember what state he is in, what office he is running for, or who he is running against.
Because details escape him and Biden’s COVID-19 plan is cribbed from what the Trump administration has done, he focuses his criticism on President Trump’s public comments. He says these comments prove the president does not listen to the scientists. Brace yourself. This ad completely destroys that narrative in under a minute.
This ad is a MOAB for Dr. Fauci’s reputation and Biden’s virus talking points.
Nothing left of either. pic.twitter.com/j7DVTJMUxC
— BDW (@BryanDeanWright) October 21, 2020
The ad juxtaposes Biden and Harris’ criticisms of President Trump’s COVID-19 comments with Dr. Anthony Fauci making the same public statements in his own media appearances. Just like Trump, Fauci said at one point that masks are not necessary. Just like Trump, Fauci said the virus should recede with warmer weather. It seriously looks like Biden and Harris are criticizing Dr. Fauci, not the president.
At the end of the video, Dr. Fauci admits he was wrong about a lot of things. One has to wonder if he will resent this montage as much as he resented being placed in a Trump campaign ad praising the pandemic response.
When you look at the timeframes in which the president made these comments, they match Fauci’s talking points. It is up to the listener to decide whether Trump was listening to Fauci or vice-versa. However, since Fauci has said publicly that President Trump listened to the health experts, the former seems more likely.
This montage provides a few important reminders. First, there was a steep learning curve early in the pandemic. Second, science is never “settled.” Third, the nation would certainly benefit from some diversity of thought about the pandemic and how to address it. Not just different perspectives from healthcare professionals, but from people in other fields like economics, who have a stake in the decisions made.
However, this short video makes one thing perfectly clear. A president who only listens to the “experts” is no more likely to be correct than one who listens to a range of input and tries to balance the risks in any given situation. Biden has pledged to listen to the experts and do what they tell him. It is worthwhile to recall just how much they have been wrong about.