It was disgusting to see the way Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders politicized the coronavirus pandemic during their debate Sunday night. I expected as much, to be honest.
A public health crisis is no time for partisanship. Sadly, for the left, they saw the coronavirus pandemic was just another opportunity for them to take down Trump. From the Russian collusion hoax to the bogus impeachment, they’ve tried relentlessly to find something to not just damage him, but to end his presidency.
The left’s politicization of the coronavirus pandemic has taken many forms, and I’ve compiled the most significant examples below.
10. Wishing infection on Trump supporters
In a now-deleted tweet, liberal activist Susan Daniel declared, “For the record, if I do get the coronavirus I’m attending every MAGA rally I can.”
As bad as that was, Denver City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca apparently thought it was appropriate to retweet the disgusting comment on her official Twitter account:
— Candi CdeBaca (@CandiCdeBacaD9) February 28, 2020
Pakistani-Canadian author Ali A. Rizvi made a similar comment on Twitter when he announced, “If I contracted coronavirus, I would go out and try to attend every Trump rally possible.”
If I contracted coronavirus, I would go out and try to attend every Trump rally possible
— Ali A. Rizvi (@aliamjadrizvi) February 24, 2020
Both CdeBaca and Rizvi experienced backlash for their tweets, but one can imagine how many liberals shared their sentiments. Some on the left were giddy over Republicans, including President Trump, being potentially exposed to coronavirus at CPAC.
Decent people don’t wish illness or death on others.
9. Prioritizing political correctness over the public health
Is political correctness in the middle of a pandemic helpful? It’s not. Getting offended by language is a distraction from the real problem, but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from doing just that.
There is no doubt that the coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China. Yet, at some point during the outbreak, the Democrats and the media decided that to refer to the virus as the “Wuhan virus” or the “Chinese virus” was racist–at least when Republicans said it. Democrats were triggered when congressman Dr. Paul Gosar announced he would self-quarantine and referred to the virus as the “Wuhan virus.” House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy was similarly accused of racism when he referred to it as the “Chinese coronavirus,” prompting Democrats to call for an apology.
The joke was on the Democrats in the end. For weeks, members of the media were referring to the virus as the Wuhan or Chinese coronavirus, without any such outrage from the Democrats.
Similarly, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez found herself eating crow after she called on the public to eat at home for public safety mere days after accusing the public of being racist for not eating at Chinese restaurants.
But it doesn’t stop with allegations of racism. The left has made diversity (or lack thereof) a theme of their coronavirus attacks, taking their Trump Derangement Syndrome to a new level of absurdity.
CNN beclowned itself by complaining that Trump’s coronavirus taskforce lacked diversity compared to Obama’s 2014 Ebola virus task force, lamenting the team was made up of a bunch of old white men.
Famed horror author Stephen King similarly made a fool of himself after complaining about the lack of diversity on the coronavirus task force, though he was promptly called out on Twitter, with people showing photos of the team, which included both minorities and women. PJM’s Megan Fox rightly noted King’s hypocrisy on this issue as it was only this past January when he said he does not take diversity into account when nominating for the Oscars. “I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong.” But apparently considering diversity on issues of public health is okay?
8. Rampant lying about Trump’s response
A pandemic is no time for politics. We didn’t see Republicans politicize the H1N1 outbreak, but sadly, Democrats have different priorities than the greater good. Democrats are in the middle of a coordinated effort to blame the pandemic on Trump, even though it was congressional Democrats who were distracted by their own efforts to impeach him while the Trump administration was actually doing something about the outbreak.
As a Fox News contributor Liz Peek noted back in February, “Even before a single case of the virus erupted organically in our country (as one now apparently has in California), and even as the administration had acted preemptively and effectively to keep virus carriers out of our country, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and others were eager to stoke fear and blame Donald Trump.”
Mike Bloomberg bought three minutes of airtime to address the public and blame Trump for the outbreak. Both Bloomberg and Joe Biden claimed that the Trump administration cut all budget increases to the CDC and NIH made by the Obama administration, an allegation the Associated Press determined to be false.
What good can come from falsely accusing Trump of hampering our country’s coronavirus readiness? None, unless you’re trying to oust Trump.
Experts have credited Trump with saving lives for his quick and decisive actions in response to the outbreak, but Democrats want the public to believe his response has been inadequate. It’s an unfortunate reflection of how partisanship has overwhelmed their party.
7. Absurdly high mortality rate guesstimates
Is there a better way to instill panic in the population than to make wildly absurd mortality predictions when you have no idea what you’re talking about? Probably not, but it’s happened.
Recent estimates suggest the coronavirus has a mortality rate of 3.4 percent. Yet last week, MSNBC contributor Dr. Joseph Fair told a panel that up to 20 percent of the U.S. population might die from the disease.
But, it’s not just MSNBC pundits making absurd predictions that only serve to scare the public. Last week, Amy Acton, the director of Ohio’s Department of Health said in a press conference that she believed 100,000 Ohioans had already contracted coronavirus. Because of her position, Acton, a registered Democrat who worked on Obama’s presidential campaign, was believed to be speaking as an expert, but later admitted she was only “guesstimating,” after other experts had significantly smaller estimates.
6. The New York Times says the virus should be renamed “Trumpvirus”
With Trump surviving impeachment and the economy booming, the left, desperate to take down Trump, really wanted the public to blame him for the virus, as opposed to, say, China, where it originated.
New York Times opinion columnist and former member of the editorial board Gail Collins literally declared that “if you’re feeling awful, you know who to blame,” in an op-ed titled “Let’s Call It Trumpvirus.”
This was shameless politicization designed to instill fear in the public that the Trump administration isn’t doing enough to deal with the outbreak, and, should you get sick, that Trump is to blame. The op-ed was widely panned, but you can bet there are plenty of people nationwide who believe that everything bad relating to the virus is Trump’s fault.
5. Using the coronavirus pandemic to push their agenda
Even though the United States has managed to contain the outbreak better than most countries, that hasn’t stopped Democrats from using the outbreak as an excuse to push their agenda. “When I talk about health care being a human right … the coronavirus crisis makes that abundantly clear as to why it should be,” Bernie Sanders claimed during his Fox News town hall earlier this month.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez echoed this talking point, claiming the outbreak “absolutely is an argument for Medicare for All.”
Except it isn’t. As PJM’s Tyler O’Neil recently noted, the coronavirus outbreak actually has proven how socialized medicine has failed countries during this outbreak.
But it wasn’t just Bernie Sanders. Before dropping out of the race, Elizabeth Warren promised to introduce legislation to “take every dime that the President is now spending on his racist wall at our southern border and divert it to work on the coronavirus.”
The mere suggestion of taking money for the border wall implies that border wall construction is limiting our ability to address the coronavirus outbreak. In fact, border security is something that actually would help prevent the spread of coronavirus—a point that Senator Ted Cruz called her out on. “How exactly would open borders protect us from the potential spread of a worldwide pandemic?” he asked her in a tweet.
At the local level, an Illinois mayor used the outbreak as political cover to ban the sale of firearms in her city via executive order, despite there being no confirmed cases there. What do gun sales have to do with preventing the spread of the virus? Nothing at all. But during a national panic, having access to firearms could save your life from violent looters.
4. Biden Plagiarizing Trump’s plan
Last week, Joe Biden slammed President Trump’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, calling it a colossal failure. “This virus laid bare the severe shortcomings of the current administration,” he claimed, right before explaining what he thought should have been done. Almost point for point, everything that Biden said needed to be done had already been done by Trump.
Instead of praising Trump for taking the appropriate actions and saving lives, Biden tried to co-opt the Trump plan as his own for the sake of his presidential campaign.
3. Pelosi’s puts Hyde Amendment loophole in coronavirus bill
What does abortion have to do with protecting the public from coronavirus? Nothing. But that didn’t stop Nancy Pelosi from trying to sneak a loophole for the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal dollars from being used to pay for abortions, and other Democrat goodies into the coronavirus stimulus package.
Republicans called her out for it, but the left tried to spin the situation differently. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed in an interview on Fox News that “right now we are hearing that some of the fights and some of the gridlock is because people are trying to put pro-life provisions” into the coronavirus legislation.
Democrats always saw the coronavirus as a political opportunity, and they never miss a chance to exploit a crisis.
2. Raising money off of the outbreak
Perhaps one of the worst ways to politicize a crisis is to raise money for your campaign off of it. And that’s exactly what Joe Biden did. He sent an email to supporters to read the text of his coronavirus speech, which blasted President Trump, and included a call for donations at the end of it.
Imagine that. He not only doubled down on his grossly political speech about the coronavirus, he used it as a call for donations to his campaign. Does it get any worse than that?
Biden wasn’t alone either. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee similarly sent out a fundraising email with a misleading message about GOP opposition to the coronavirus stimulus package and asking for supporters for donations.
“This is a presidential election season and yes, candidates are free to criticize each other,” Karl Rove said in response to these shameful calls for donations. “But should the Democrats’ first instinct in a major crisis like America faces today be to take advantage of the moment for campaign cash?”
Sadly, it is.
1. Falsely claiming Trump called the coronavirus ‘a hoax’
While Democrats were busy impeaching President Trump, the Trump administration was busy addressing the coronavirus outbreak, taking various measures to limit the spread of the virus in the United States. With impeachment over and Democrats needing a new talking point, they started to blame Trump for his allegedly inadequate response to the outbreak. President Trump responded to these allegations during a rally in South Carolina, calling their politicization of the coronavirus “the new hoax.”
The media jumped on this line, claiming that Trump called the virus, not the Democrats’ reactions to it, a hoax. The lie spread like wildfire and Joe Biden even used the lie as a talking point on the stump. There was quite a stir when Politico’s story repeating the false claim that Trump called the virus a hoax was flagged by Facebook fact-checkers as fake news, but other fact-checkers couldn’t deny that the claim was false either.
Here’s the line in full context:
Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus, you know that right? Coronavirus, they’re politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs. You say, “How’s President Trump doing?” They go, “Oh, not good, not good.” They have no clue. They don’t have any clue. They can’t even count their votes in Iowa. They can’t even count. No, they can’t. They can’t count their votes.
One of my people came up to me and said, “Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia.” That didn’t work out too well. They couldn’t do it. They tried the impeachment hoax. That was not a perfect conversation. They tried anything. They tried it over and over. They’d been doing it since you got in. It’s all turning. They lost. It’s all turning. Think of it. Think of it. And this is their new hoax.
It’s obvious Trump was calling the Democrats’ politicization of the coronavirus the new hoax they’d used to try to take him down. Unfortunately, the media’s hit job had the intended result: to this day there are people who believe Trump called the virus itself “a hoax,” and have used that lie to mock his and other Republicans’ actions in response to the outbreak.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis