Joe Biden and his presidential campaign have a plagiarism problem, comparable to when the ex-senator from Delaware first ran for the White House more than 30 years ago. During the 2020 primaries, he mirrored his opponents’ platforms, mostly on the environment. Last month, Biden copied President Donald Trump’s America First agenda by promising a public policy objective of “Buy American.” Now, in a weak attempt to slam the administration’s handling of the COVID-19 public health crisis, Biden is telling the press how he would manage the pandemic differently from Trump. The problem? Everything he is suggesting, the president is already doing. And, of course, the media is unsurprisingly refusing to take Biden to task.
Biden the Fat with Joy Reid
Biden recently spoke with MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid from his basement to discuss President Trump, the 2020 election, health care, “empathy,” and the Coronavirus. It was his lamentation on Trump’s management of the pandemic that was noteworthy because he tried to describe how he would handle the situation more effectively than his presidential opponent.
Here is a laundry list of his COVID-19 strategies if he occupied 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:
- Use the Defense Production Act (DPA) to get companies to manufacture things necessary to mitigate the crisis.
- Conduct more COVID-19 testing and initiate contact tracing.
- Insist everyone wears a mask and social distance (unsure if this relates to protesters).
- Ensure no American pays for medical care relating to the Coronavirus.
- Spend $25 billion to formulate a plan to distribute a vaccine to the population.
One word: Wow! It seems as though the Democratic Party candidate knows how to lead during an unprecedented virus outbreak. It also sounds as though President Trump is not doing anything at all. According to Biden, the only thing Trump has done is to call the respiratory illness a hoax and recommend that people drink bleach. No wonder that the only person who can beat Joe Biden is … Joe Biden.
Plagiarizing Donald Trump
So, what has Trump done, precisely? Well, he’s done everything Biden has said a president should be doing. This is awkward.
In March, Mr. Trump invoked the DPA to push U.S. industry to produce medical materials that are in short supply, such as ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE), and pharmaceuticals. Most recently, he extended a $765 million loan to Kodak to manufacture critical medicines. The president has tapped the DPA at least 30 times.
As of August 7, the United States is ranked second in the number of Coronavirus tests performed in the most impacted countries. The U.S. has completed more than 63 million tests, behind only China, with about 90 million tests. Contact tracing is not as black and white as Biden purports since there is plenty of debate regarding its efficacy in the world’s third-largest nation with a population of 350 million.
While President Trump has resisted wearing a mask throughout most of the outbreak, his administration and the CDC have recommended wearing non-medical cloth face coverings since April. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams – who, like other medical “experts,” may have botched the guidelines from the beginning – acknowledged the need for using masks in public settings where social distancing is difficult. Overall, mandating masks is left up to the states and municipalities, not the federal government.
In April, the administration announced that the federal government would draw from the multi-trillion-dollar stimulus and relief packages to pay hospitals for treating uninsured Coronavirus patients. The White House said there would be no “surprise” hospital bills. Primary medical care is indeed being covered, but long-term complications from the virus that require advanced health care have exposed a gap in Washington’s endeavors to protect patients from having expensive bills once they are discharged from the hospital. Still, for the most part, Americans are not paying for COVID-19 treatment.
Finally, Trump has not only struck multi-billion-dollar deals with some of the nation’s top pharmaceutical companies for vaccine doses, but the CDC and the Pentagon are also partnering up to work on a plan to distribute Coronavirus vaccinations. Whether people will accept the inoculations or not is a different story.
How would Biden handle the pandemic differently from President Trump? By doing everything Trump is doing. This is comparable to when the former V.P. told wealthy donors that everything would essentially remain the same if he were elected to the Oval Office. From plagiarizing speeches to replicating ideas, does Biden have an original bone in his body?
Politics as Usual
It is almost a given in politics that neither side hands each other an inch, particularly in today’s hyper-partisan landscape. If Hillary Clinton were president and she faced similar numbers – 4.95 million cases and 161,000 deaths – the Republicans and conservative media would be railing against her administration as much as the Democrats and CNN hound the president today. But perhaps the presumptive Democratic nominee is betting that nobody on MSNBC is assessing the facts or even conceding any ground to Trump on the work he and his team have done this year. There is a word for that: mendacity – or incompetence.
Read more from Andrew Moran.