Biden’s horribly misnamed super PAC “Unite the Country” has released a TV ad that relies on three false claims already debunked by PJ Media, independent fact-checkers, and even Biden’s own coronavirus advisor, Ron Klain.
Here’s the ad:
Crisis comes to every presidency. We don’t blame them for that. What matters is how they handle it. On that measure, President Trump has failed us. It’s time for him to go. #coronavirus #covid19 pic.twitter.com/G8HvZ3AST2
— Unite the Country (@UniteCountryPAC) March 25, 2020
Now, let’s break it down, lie by lie.
FALSE CLAIM #1: “Donald Trump didn’t create the coronavirus. But he is the one who called ‘hoax.’”
At least they admitted Trump didn’t create the virus! But the claim that Trump called the virus “a hoax” has been fact-checked as false by Facebook, The Washington Post, FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, and Snopes, and well before this ad was produced. Like the false media reports that preceded it, the ad is worded to give the impression that Trump said the virus itself was a hoax that Democrats made up, which is not what he said.
Here’s what Trump actually said in the rally:
Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. 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 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 on a perfect conversation. They tried anything, they tried it over and over. They’ve been doing it since you got in. It’s all turning, they lost, it’s all turning. Think of it. And this is their new hoax.”
It’s clear from the transcript that Trump was saying the Democrats’ politicization of the coronavirus was their new hoax.
FALSE CLAIM #2: Trump “eliminated the pandemic response team.”
Obama administration alumni are responsible for this lie. The Washington Post ran an opinion piece by Elizabeth Cameron, who ran the White House pandemic office under Obama, alleging that Trump had dissolved the office in 2018. Days after WaPo ran the piece, the paper published another article by Tim Morrison, former senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense on the National Security Council, who refuted the allegation made by Cameron and other former Obama administration officials.
“Because I led the very directorate assigned that mission, the counterproliferation and biodefense office, for a year and then handed it off to another official who still holds the post, I know the charge is specious,” he wrote. Cameron’s claim was also debunked by the Washington Post fact-checker, who concluded “the [NSC] staff slots did not disappear and at least initially the key mission of team remained a priority. So one can also claim nothing changed and thus Biden’s criticism is overstated.”
FactCheck.org similarly concluded, “some team members were shifted to other groups, and others took over some of [the senior director’s] duties.”
It’s worth noting here that it was actually the Obama-Biden administration that eliminated the White House Health and Security Office in 2009, which happened to be the same year that the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic swept the nation and infected 60.8 million American, and killed 12,000.
FALSE CLAIM #3: Trump “let the virus spread unchecked across America.”
This statement is so wrong that even Biden’s own coronavirus advisor, Ron Klain, refutes it. Klain, who helped lead Obama’s response to the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak, stated back on February 11, 2020, “obviously the administration can’t do nothing. Indeed, they are far from doing nothing.” On January 30, 2020, he praised actions being taken by Trump’s HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
But most significant is the fact that the actions taken by the Trump administration are well documented. While the country was distracted by the Democrats’ efforts to impeach and remove Trump, Trump and his administration were addressing the coronavirus outbreak head-on. One of the most significant actions taken by Trump was the banning of travel with China, which W.H.O. experts agreed slowed down the spread of the coronavirus in the United States and saved lives. Joe Biden, however, opposed the travel ban and called it xenophobic.
I’d call on Joe Biden to denounce this ad for spreading lies, but he’s just as guilty as they are.
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