Former Vice President Joe Biden attempted to blame President Trump for as many as 60,000 coronavirus deaths because he didn’t shut down the country a month earlier.
“This Covid epidemic has basically shut down the country these last three months. And, by the way, if we had shut it down a month earlier, we’d have probably another 45,000 to 60,000 people — would be alive instead of dead,” Biden said to an audience in a church in Wilmington, Delaware, while wearing a face mask down on his chin.
What kind of man walks into a church and lies about what he said in order to pander to a community that was viciously affected by the coronavirus?
The answer is Joe Biden. pic.twitter.com/F7WLlboAUL
— ForAmerica (@ForAmerica) June 1, 2020
President Trump declared a national emergency on March 12, and released social distancing guidelines on March 16. Joe Biden held campaign rallies March 2, 3, 7, 9, 10.
During this period Biden said the country should have been shut down, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also (in)famously toured San Francisco’s Chinatown section and told Americans that “everything is fine,” and “all is well,” and encouraged Americans to shop and eat there. “Come to Chinatown,” she said. “We just want everybody not to be afraid to come to Chinatown.”
Mediaite notes that Biden delivered a speech in Pennsylvania four days after the state had declared a state of emergency. Despite the fact that Biden was holding campaign rallies into March, Biden claimed, “[Trump] didn’t listen to guys like me back in January saying we’d have a problem, an epidemic was on the way.”
This is also a lie. Joe Biden criticized Trump’s China travel as “hysterical xenophobia” and “fearmongering” back in January. On January 27, Joe Biden published an op-ed in USA Today, trashing the very idea of travel bans.
The possibility of a pandemic is a challenge Donald Trump is unqualified to handle as president. I remember how Trump sought to stoke fear and stigma during the 2014 Ebola epidemic. He called President Barack Obama a “dope” and “incompetent” and railed against the evidence-based response our administration put in place — which quelled the crisis and saved hundreds of thousands of lives — in favor of reactionary travel bans that would only have made things worse. He advocated abandoning exposed and infected American citizens rather than bringing them home for treatment.
Biden ultimately flip-flopped on the issue, coming out in support of the ban in April. Biden’s absurd allegation is such a low politicization of deaths, especially in light of his campaigning during the same period he claims the country should have been shut down. Pathetic grandstanding of a man desperate to score political points off the deaths of innocent people.
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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