Slow Joe and Silly Jimmy

The Wuhan coronavirus crisis has removed Joe Biden from the front page and rendered him largely irrelevant. Meanwhile, President Trump, after a less than stellar start, has hit his stride in daily briefings about the outbreak. A majority of Americans say he’s handling the crisis well.

Hoping to regain relevance, Joe Biden did an interview with Jimmy Kimmel. I had never seen Kimmel’s act before. He came off in this interview as ill informed and not terribly bright.

The word frivolous comes to mind. Maybe that’s the key to his success.

Biden has long come across as not terribly bright. He did again with Kimmel. And perhaps surprisingly, since Biden told Kimmel he consults with health experts daily for 45 to 90 minutes (tape at around 7:40), Biden also came off as ill informed about matters relating to the virus. I provide examples below.

At times, Biden also had trouble articulating his views and maintaining the thread of his thought (see around 11:30 and 12:20). In the latter instance, as Biden sputtered into incoherence, Kimmel tried to cover for him by interjecting.

One lowlight of the coronavirus portion of the interview occurred when Kimmel and Biden couldn’t figure out why President Trump hasn’t enlisted industry, e.g., through the Defense Production Act, to produce items needed to respond to the pandemic (around 9:10 and 9:20). But private industry has been enlisted (see here for examples).

Moreover, as Trump has explained in his briefings, he uses the threat of invoking that Act to get industry to do what he wants. He was about to use the law to commission 60,000 testing kits when, at the last minute, the administration was able to procure the test kits from the private market without relying on the law. (Today, Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to require GM to produce ventilators.)

Another lowlight occurred when Kimmel asked about Trump’s disbanding of the White House pandemic team. Biden couldn’t explain that one either. Good thing he didn’t try. The team wasn’t disbanded.

Here’s the video. Watch as much of it as you can tolerate.

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