Joe Biden has ordered a ban on travel from eight African countries due to the emergence of the latest coronavirus variant. The countries from which Biden is cutting off travel are South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.
When Donald Trump banned travel from China in the early days of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, Biden called the move xenophobic. I suppose that makes Biden’s travel ban racist by similar reckoning.
Speaking of Trump, Biden, and covid, the Wall Street Journal points out that deaths in the U.S. from that virus since Biden was inaugurated exceed the number of deaths that had occurred when, during a 2020 campaign debate, Biden proclaimed: “Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as President of the United States of America.” At the time Biden proposed this disqualifier from holding the presidency, the U.S. had recorded 220,000 covid deaths, according to the Journal. Since inauguration day, it has recorded 350,000. And counting.
The comparison isn’t “apples to apples.” When Biden made his statement during the debate, the pandemic had been raging in the U.S. for about six and a half months. It’s been about ten months since the sad day Biden became president.
On the other hand, we had no vaccine during almost the entirety of Trump’s presidency. We’ve had one — developed and distributed during Trump’s presidency — throughout the time Biden has occupied the Oval Office.
Furthermore, as the Journal reminds us, Biden promised to “shut down the virus, not the country,” and he claimed to have a plan to accomplish this. This was BS.
So was his statement that “if [Trump] had done his job, had done his job from the beginning, all the [220,000] people would still be alive.” Has any presidential candidate ever defamed his opponent so flagrantly on a matter of policy? If so, I don’t recall it.
Here’s another comparison between Trump and Biden on the pandemic — one that’s closer to “apples to apples.” During the debates, Biden slammed Trump’s performance by claiming that Europe had done much better in limiting covid deaths than the U.S. At the time, however, the number of deaths per capita in the U.S. was in line with four major European countries it made sense to compare us with — the UK, Spain, France, and Italy. Like the U.S., these nations had reliable data, large populations, and lots of foreign visitors before travel was restricted.
As Trump’s presidency drew to a close, per capita deaths from the virus in the U.S. were about at about the midpoint of per capita deaths in these countries — nearly identical to the UK, a little lower than Italy and Spain, somewhat higher than France.
What about now? Today, per capita deaths attributed to the virus are higher in the U.S. than in all four of the comparator nations. Currently, the U.S. has recorded 2,393 deaths per capita from the virus. France, Spain, the UK, and Italy come in at 1,814, 1,880, 2,113, and 2,213 respectively.
The U.S., therefore, has lost ground to these four countries in terms of covid deaths under Joe Biden. This, despite the fact that the U.S. (under Trump’s leadership) was considerably faster off the mark than France, Spain, and Italy in getting the vaccine approved and into arms. (The UK, free from EU constraints, was a little faster than the U.S.)
Personally, I don’t think presidents should be judged based, without more, on how many Americans die during a pandemic. But Joe Biden based much of his case for the presidency on precisely this criteria. In both debates with Donald Trump, he led with that case. His pitch was as effective as it was crude.
By Joe Biden’s crude metrics, he has failed abjectly in dealing with the Wuhan coronavirus, both in absolute terms and in comparison to Europe. By his rhetoric, Biden “should not remain as President of the United States of America.”
I’m glad the Wall Street Journal has called Biden out on this. Don’t expect to read about it elsewhere in traditional media.