When the official death tally from COVID-19 surpassed 100,000 in 2020, the media saw an opportunity. Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson called the milestone an “indictment” of President Trump.
“Now, with more than 100,000 Americans dead from the coronavirus epidemic and large sectors of the economy on life support, it’s time to assess whether [President Trump] has lived up to his obligation and responsibility,” mused USA Today‘s editorial board. Mehdi Hasan of The Intercept marked the milestone by saying that blood was on Trump’s hands for not enacting social distancing measures sooner—even though literally no one, not even Dr. Anthony Fauci, was pushing for such measures any earlier.
“It took less than four months for an unseen enemy to kill 100,000 Americans,” reported CNN. “That’s almost twice the number of Americans lost during the entire Vietnam War.”
But what will the media say now that the United States officially surpassed 100,000 COVID-19 deaths on Joe Biden’s watch?
According to figures obtained via The COVID Tracking Project, from Biden’s inauguration through February 26, a total of 101,919 Americans have died from COVID-19.
— Matt Margolis (Gab/MeWe/Heroes: @MattMargolis) (@mattmargolis) February 27, 2021
This means that roughly 1/5 of all COVID deaths have occurred on Joe Biden’s watch, even though he repeatedly claimed during the 2020 presidential campaign that he would get the virus under control. Upon his entering office, there were already two FDA-approved vaccines and a distribution plan— for which the Biden administration has desperately tried to take credit. Nevertheless, the average daily number of COVID-19 deaths is still more than double what it was under Trump. Under Biden, there has been an average of 2,682 daily deaths from COVID-19. Under Trump, there was an average of 1,204 daily deaths COVID-19—and that includes the early months when deaths in states like New York had skyrocketed because nursing homes were forced to accept COVID-positive patients, causing a massive outbreak amongst the population most vulnerable to the disease.
Will the media say that Joe Biden, who promised to get the virus under control, has blood on his hands? Will they blame him for not enforcing double-masking on his first day in office? Will this milestone be deemed an “indictment” of Biden’s COVID-19 strategy? Will we be subjected to comparisons to the Vietnam War death toll? Will the media note that it only took five weeks for Biden to pass 100,000 COVID-19 deaths when it took “less than four months” for the United States to reach that grim milestone at the start of the pandemic? When the pandemic began, we didn’t know much about COVID-19, but we’ve learned a lot since then. Our ability to treat it has improved. There are therapeutics available that have decreased mortality, and we have two vaccines currently being distributed and administered.
This is not to say things aren’t improving. Thanks to herd immunity and the vaccines, COVID-19 cases have dropped significantly. Daily cases have been trending downward since early January, and deaths, a lagging indicator, peaked mid-January. By the time Biden took office, over 21 million vaccine doses had already been administered, and a third vaccine was given Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA this week. But, how will the media treat this milestone? Will Joe Biden be treated the same way President Trump was?
I think we all know the answer to that.
Matt Margolis is the author of Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter, Gab, Facebook, MeWe, Heroes, Rumble, and CloutHub.