Numerous news outlets noted on Wednesday that COVID-19 has now killed more Americans than the 9/11 attacks and reported the grim White House revelation that it could end up killing as many as 50 times the number of our fellow citizens than we lost in those acts of terrorism. Very little commentary, however, was devoted to the difference between the Democratic response to the current crisis compared to their reaction to that national emergency. Then, the Democratic Senate majority stood with the Republican House majority at the Capitol and sang “God Bless America.” Even then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) said the following about President Bush:
I know that the most important thing now — having been at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue for eight years — is for us to be united, united behind our president and our government, sending a very clear message that this is something that transcends any political consideration or partisanship.
Now, for the Democrats, the potential deaths of more than 100,000 Americans and the destruction of our national economy no longer “transcend” political considerations or partisanship. Last Sunday morning, for example, the current Democratic Speaker of the House took to the talking-head circuit to make the bizarre claim that President Trump’s management of the coronavirus pandemic is comparable to the negligence of the Roman Emperor Nero, who is supposed to have played a lyre and sung in his palace while watching the city go up in flames. Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “As the president fiddles, people are dying … his delay in getting equipment to where it’s needed is deadly.”
As it happens, very few reputable historians believe the Nero legend. Likewise, those of us who have followed the daily press briefings of the Coronavirus Task Force know that Pelosi’s accusation is false. A common myth promulgated by Pelosi and other Democrats involves the alleged failure of the Trump administration to replenish the Strategic National Stockpile, America’s reserve of medical equipment for use during emergencies. Connecticut’s Democratic governor, Ned Lamont, repeated this canard Tuesday: “It was disturbing today to find out that the national strategic stockpile is now empty.” According to the Washington Post, however, the Obama administration depleted the stockpile:
The H1N1 influenza pandemic of 2009 triggered the largest deployment in U.S. history of the Strategic National Stockpile … The stockpile distributed 85 million N95 respirators…. [T]he stockpile’s reserves were not significantly restored after the 2009 pandemic, in the view of industry and public health experts.
One would think, considering his contribution to the shortages that now bedevil the system in a time of real crisis, erstwhile President Obama would keep his head down and be quiet. But that fails to account for the man’s hubris. That tragic flaw forced him to take to Twitter and criticize President Trump thus: “We’ve seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic. We can’t afford any more consequences of climate denial.” Take note of the absurd connection between the COVID-19 pandemic and “climate denial.” It is by no means the last time you will see it. The real problem here is yet another Trump rollback of Barack Obama’s “wrap business in red tape” agenda.
Another inevitable Democratic strategy has been to accuse Trump of pursuing a sexist COVID-19 agenda. This pitch has already been unveiled at the New York Times, which objects to President Trump’s reference to Michigan’s Democratic governor as “Gretchen ‘Half-Whitmer.’ ” But this characterization has less to do with her gender than her refusal to permit Michigan’s coronavirus patients to be treated with a drug called hydroxychloroquine that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. She finally reversed her position on Tuesday, insisting that it was just “miscommunication.” Another reason the “sexist” argument doesn’t work is that most coronavirus victims are, well, male:
Coronavirus appears to pose a particular threat to men. Middle-aged and older men, and those with underlying health conditions that affect the immune system, are being especially badly hit by the virus. And while scientists can’t say for certain why the current pandemic is discriminating by sex, it isn’t a total surprise.
Nor is it a total surprise that, as recently as a couple of decades ago, even Hillary Clinton possessed enough self-command to support George W. Bush. She knew that to do otherwise in a time of crisis would be seen as a betrayal of American values. This is why President Trump’s approval numbers have been steadily rising. The voters know he is sacrificing his strongest claim on a second term — the economy — for the good of the American people. Even Joe Biden has finally realized that he must be part of the solution to have any credibility. Trump will still win in November because he is taking action while most Democrats take cheap shots. “Make America Great Again” has never meant more than it does now.