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When Will the Media Start Holding Biden Accountable for COVID Deaths?

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

If you’re reading this, you’re probably old enough to remember when the left and the activist media were insisting that every single solitary COVID death was the fault of former President Donald Trump, who viciously used the pandemic to murder as many Americans as possible. Any time COVID deaths began to rise, they pilloried the Trump administration, accusing it of not caring about the many people who succumbed to the virus.

Of course, they did this as former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was literally getting New Yorkers killed during the nursing home scandal. Indeed, they did little more than blink confusingly when it was revealed that his administration attempted to cover up the SNAFU. To them, Trump was probably the reason these folks perished anyway, so why make hay over a Democratic official’s ridiculous decisions?

COVID was one of the left’s most powerful weapons against the former president, and they wielded it to great effect. Even though they knew much of the situation was out of his control, they still attribute the deaths to Trump’s governance.

Now, it has become apparent that there are more COVID deaths under President Joe Biden than there were under Trump. USA Today reported:

The disease was reported as the underlying cause of death or a contributing cause of death for an estimated 377,883 people in 2020, accounting for 11.3% of deaths, according to the CDC. As of Monday, more than 770,000 people have died from the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University data. That means over 15,000 more people have died in 2021 than last year from COVID-19 – and there’s still more than a month left.

The CDC figures only account for reported deaths, and it’s likely that more people died in 2020 due to COVID-19 than the recorded number; 2020 coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. weren’t tracked until February. New COVID infections are now on the rise in 38 states and health officials have been bracing for the possibility of a surge in cases over the winter.

There are a number of different factors contributing to the increasing COVID death rates. USA Today’s report cites “the seasonality of the virus, waning immunity and many still unvaccinated Americans,” as primary causes to the problem. Of course, USA Today didn’t bother to point out the reality that more people died when most of the population was vaxxed than in 2020 when vaccines were not a thing, but what else would you expect?

Predictably, the Washington Post tried to run interference for their favorite president, publishing a piece designed to convince us this isn’t a big deal. In the article, author Aaron Blake frets about conservatives and Republicans engaging in partisan politicking because apparently, the Democrats’ partisan politicking all through last year wasn’t an issue. “Some have gone so far as to say this stat proves Biden’s handling of the virus is worse than President Donald Trump’s was,” Blake writes.

Blake then suggests that “such comparisons can easily be manipulated depending upon when waves occur, etc., and stripped of context. And that context is less damning for Biden vis-a-vis Trump.”

The author does acknowledge that President Biden “set himself up for such comparisons” in 2020 when he stated that any president who is responsible for as many COVID deaths as Trump was “should not remain as president of the United States of America.”

Blake is right. This is the game Biden wanted to play, and now he has to play it no matter how inept it makes him look.

The author goes on to exhibit an unusual level of intellectual honesty by acknowledging that “[t]oo often, criticisms of Trump devolved into suggesting (explicitly or implicitly, as Biden did) that a president could have prevented all those deaths.”

But then, he writes:

The comparison between 2020 and 2021 is also inapt in that Trump was still president in early 2021, and the effects of choices made before Biden took over (such as Trump not really encouraging people to get vaccinated) lingered into Biden’s early presidency. The biggest wave of the coronavirus in this country, in fact, peaked around the exact time Biden was inaugurated on Jan. 20. Inheriting a trendline that showed 3,000 deaths per day, as Biden did, is a recipe for inflating your numbers.

(To a significant degree, that wave was outside Trump’s control, of course; most places in the world were experiencing the worst wave of the virus at the time.)

Blake also notes:

Thus far, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Biden has presided over about 353,000 deaths in a little over 10 months, compared to about 425,000 for Trump in his final 10-plus months. So there have still been fewer deaths under Biden than under Trump, in a similar time period.

He then argues that “[u]nder Biden, we have accounted for a significantly smaller share of worldwide deaths than under Trump.”

What Blake seems to miss is the reality that no level of spin can take away from the fact that Biden has not handled the pandemic more effectively than Trump. Under the former president, there was no vaccination to slow the spread of the virus. For the entirety of Biden’s term so far, vaccines have been available, meaning that if Biden and his ilk were right, the number of COVID deaths should be nowhere near what it was in 2020.

The fact that many remain unvaccinated is no excuse; again, in 2020 there was no vaccination against the virus and the numbers are still about the same. So if we are playing by the rules the left set last year, we should be blaming every single, solitary COVID-19 death in 2021 on President Joseph Robinette Biden. Of course, the activist media and Democrats would not dare to hold themselves to the same standards they foist upon everyone else. Intellectual honesty is overrated, isn’t it?