Originally posted April 20, 2020.
From Joe Biden:
“Donald Trump is not responsible for COVID-19, but he is responsible for our slow, uncoordinated response. Experts say that if we had acted two weeks earlier, more lives could have been saved. Trump failed to take swift action—and we’re paying the price.”
A Timeline of the Blame Game
When did Americans hear Mr. Biden or other Democrats call for bolder action early in the coronavirus crisis? They didn’t, the WSJ points out.
Democratic candidates held five televised debates, lasting nearly 11 hours from Jan. 14 through March 15. They offered no policy proposals that haven’t already been enacted and said little about the virus in the four events in January and February.
Democrat Contenders Ignored Coronavirus
There was plenty of talk of impeachment but no mention of the coronavirus at the Jan. 14 debate in Iowa. During the next debate, in New Hampshire on Feb. 7—a week after Mr. Trump restricted travel from China—Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar mentioned China, but only in the context of climate change.
Bloomberg’s Prescient Warning
The virus didn’t come up at all at the Feb. 19 debate in Nevada, though Mike Bloomberg warned that the Chinese “are going to die just as our people are going to die” as a result of carbon emissions.
“What Happened in Africa”?
Mr. Biden confused Covid-19 with swine flu, which he called “N1H1” rather than H1N1. Forgetting the name Ebola, Biden referred to it as “what happened in Africa.”
Mr. Biden talked about providing assistance and ensuring every state has at least 10 drive-through test centers before quickly running out of steam like a boxer hoping for a bell.
“I see my time is up here,” Biden said, even though no one was cutting him off.
A Paucity of Confidence
When Jake Tapper asked Mr. Biden if he would call for a national lockdown, Mr. Biden attempted to avoid the question:
“What I would do is what we did in our administration. I would call a meeting in the Situation Room of all the experts in America dealing with this crisis. I would sit them down and I would do exactly what we did then. What is it that we need? Listen to the experts.”
“It’s Easy to Be Wise After the Event”
At no point during any of the debates did a Democratic candidate suggest that the country should have been locked down or taken other social-distancing measures sooner.
(Above quote from Arthur Conan Doyle.)