Things spreading across the globe: coronavirus, the lies being told by Democrats about it and liberal cheerleading when something bad happens because of it.
The virus, thankfully, hasn’t yet spread broadly in the United States (although it is reasonable to assume that many more cases will emerge in the coming weeks). But that hasn’t stopped the American left from saying outlandish things about the Trump administration’s response.
Joe Biden, who claims to be the antithesis to President Donald Trump’s dishonesty, tried to incite public panic while campaigning in South Carolina.
“We increased the budget of the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). We increased the (National Institutes for Health) budget. ... (Trump’s) wiped all that out. ... He cut the funding for the entire effort,” Biden said, harkening back to his days as Barack Obama’s vice president.
Not to be outdone, Mike Bloomberg, who claims to be the antithesis to Trump’s incompetence, went even further:
“There’s nobody here to figure out what the hell we should be doing. And (Trump’s) … defunded Centers for Disease Control, CDC, so we don’t have the organization we need. This is a very serious thing.”
These candidates, united by a reckless disregard for truth and responsible public rhetoric during a public health emergency, should be ashamed of their galactically irresponsible remarks. The Trump administration has not “wiped out” or “defunded” the CDC or the NIH. Further, there are several experts figuring out “what the hell” to do.
According to The Associated Press, funding has increased for both agencies during the Trump administration, and the experts in charge have earned praise from across the political spectrum: Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s principal deputy director, is so good that Hollywood based a movie on her work, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the NIH’s infectious disease head, has advised six presidents.
It is outrageous that leading Democrats would so brazenly lie to the public about the American government’s response. But who will hold them accountable? Let’s check in with our national newspaper of record, The New York Times:
“Let’s call it Trump Virus,” wrote Gail Collins, one of the paper’s most well-known columnists. Another, Paul Krugman, also using the “Trump Virus” label, excitedly tweeted “Dow 25,000!” as the stock market tanked.
Other corners of the American left, ever disdainful of organized religion, pounded Vice President Mike Pence, who Trump tasked with leading the government’s response. As governor of Indiana, Pence once said he wanted to pray about a controversial needle exchange program in response to an outbreak of HIV/AIDS in his state. And a photo of his coronavirus task force with heads bowed in prayer earned widespread scorn, with one New York Times writer tweeting that America is “so screwed.”
I wonder: Do the liberals hammering Pence have the same thoughts about Democratic presidential candidates attending Bloody Sunday church services in Selma this past weekend?
As if we needed another reminder, Trump has broken these people. Absolutely broken them. A virus jumps from an animal to a human halfway around the world and the liberal intelligentsia tries to name it after the American president, cheerleads a decline in the retirement fortunes of millions of Americans and crusades against basic religious practices.
There is no high-minded, we-are-all-in-this-together alternative to Trump. There is no paragon of honesty or virtue or competence waiting to turn the American presidency into a new season of “The West Wing.” There is just a disgustingly disloyal opposition whose happiest recent days were brought on by a global pandemic.
But even as his opposition grows more irresponsible, Trump is not absolved of the need for an accurate, clear and sober public message. He should not minimize the risk or engage in his usual hyperbole. This is where the rubber hits the road on public trust, and Trump needs to get it exactly right or face extreme political damage.
His best course is to simply be calm and honest: more people will get this virus, some will die, and washing your hands is a good way to stay healthy. The administration should give routine updates on progress toward a vaccine, mortality rates and travel advice. And he should put experts like Schuchat and Fauci on TV as much as possible.
There’s no room for error and Democrats have already crossed the line. If Trump gets his coronavirus response right, it would represent a major turning point in how the public views his honesty and competence heading into the November election.