Election 2020

Biden: Coronavirus Is a 'Wake Up Call' on 'Climate Change,' an 'Opportunity' for 'Institutional Change'

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

In two virtual fundraisers this week, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden called the coronavirus pandemic a “wake up call” on climate change and said he was “excited” about the crisis because it presents “opportunities” for “institutional changes.” Rather than sympathizing with the victims of the crisis, the former vice president is in full “never let a crisis go to waste” mode.

“I believe, because, sort of, the blinders have been taken off, because of this COVID crisis, I think people are realizing, ‘My Lord. Look at what is possible. Look at the institutional changes we can make – without us becoming a ‘socialist country,’ or any of that malarkey – that we can make to provide the opportunities to change the institutional drawbacks …’ from education, all the way through to all the other things we talked about,” Biden said in a fundraiser on Tuesday, according to a pool report quoted by CNS News.

“And if I sound like I’m excited, I am,” he added.

To be fair, the former vice president went on to explain why he was “excited”: “because I really think, think about this, the United States – I am a student of history – the United States is one of the few countries in the world, whatever crisis they’re faced with, we’ve overcome it. And we’ve always come out stronger, better.”

At least he acknowledged that this is a crisis. That’s something, right?

At another fundraiser on Wednesday, Biden said the coronavirus is a wake-up call for climate change… as if greenhouse gasses were more responsible for COVID-19 than a bat in Wuhan, China.

“COVID is shining a bright light on the structural racism that plagues our laws, our institutions and our culture. And it’s a wake up call, a wake up call to action to climate change overall and to climate justice,” Biden said, according to The Atlantic‘s Edward-Isaac Dovere.

Darn those sneaky all-powerful carbon emissions — somehow they made bats get sick, made human beings study coronaviruses in bats at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, made some researcher leave while infected, and made the Chinese Communist Party lie to cover it up and enable the spread. It seems the only thing they can’t do is actually bring about the climate disaster predicted by so many alarmists.

Don’t ask how carbon emissions controlled bats and the Chinese Communist Party — it’s science. And it’s settled. That all-knowing sage Joe Biden said it, so it must be true — no matter how little sense it makes.

Beyond the patent absurdity of calling the coronavirus a wake-up call for climate change, Biden has shown a disgusting penchant for using the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to push his radical agenda. His comments about the “opportunities” this virus presents are very much on-brand.

Earlier this month, he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo, “We have an opportunity, Chris, to do so many things now to change some of the structural things that are wrong, some of the structural things we couldn’t get anybody’s attention on. In a sense, no pun intended, the bandaid’s been ripped off here.”

Biden’s view of the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity for structural change should sound familiar, and not just because of Rahm Emanuel. Last month, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told his fellow Democrats, “This is a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”

Indeed, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) had worked out a compromise on a $2 trillion stimulus bill to help the economy amid the crisis, Senate Democrats blocked the bill. Pelosi put forward her own alternate version, jam-packed with liberal pet projects.

Pelosi’s bill gives a hint about what it might look like for Biden to take the “wake up call” on climate change.

Pelosi’s bill included funds for the airline industry, which has been suffering acutely during the social distancing strategy to fight the coronavirus. Yet that money would have come with conditions. First, the federal government “shall require each air carrier receiving assistance … to fully offset the annual carbon emissions of such air carriers for domestic flights beginning in 2025.”

It got worse, however. By January 1, 2023, air carriers would have to present passengers with “information regarding greenhouse gas emissions resulting from each individual flight.” Such information must be “customized to account for such emissions associated with each aircraft and the flight route of such aircraft” and it must be “made available on the first display of any website selling any ticket for such flight.” This onerous burden would have strained air carriers and may have convinced Americans to avoid flying altogether — which was likely the goal.

Biden did not endorse Pelosi’s bill, but he did support the Democrats’ obstruction against the compromise bill, echoing talking points about a corporate “slush fund.” It seems the Democratic nominee agreed with the spirit of Pelosi’s bill, even if he did not back the specific legislation.

This week, the Democrats did it again, blocking extra funding for the small business Paycheck Protection Program for “leverage.” These plays for power are particularly disgusting at a time when millions of Americans are getting sick and laid off, fearing for their lives and livelihoods.

Joe Biden sure represents the fecklessness of his party — and Americans should soundly reject both in November.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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