Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the coronavirus Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Joe Biden took a shot at attempting to look presidential today. His objective was to demonstrate his mental acuity and decisiveness as a counterpoint to the media and NeverTrump narrative that the federal reaction to Wuhan virus is all bolloxed up. It isn’t, but NeverTrumpers gonna Never Trump so who cares? This is the speech.
Joe Biden: (00:00)
This virus, those infected families that have suffered a loss, first responders and healthcare providers are putting themselves on the line as I speak for others. I’d like to thank those who are already making sacrifices to protect us, whether that’s self quarantine, self quarantining themselves or canceling events and closing campuses. Because whether or not you’re infected or know someone who is infected or have been in contact with an infected person, this is going to require a national response. Not just from our elected leaders or our public health officials, but from all of us. We must, all of us follow the guidelines of health officials and take appropriate protections to protect ourselves and critically to protect others, especially those who are most at risk for this disease.
Wait, you mean these guidelines put out by the Trump administration:
Self-reporting #coronavirus symptoms to your doctor is important, for your safety and the safety of others in our community.
— Rep. Dan Kildee (@RepDanKildee) March 12, 2020
Joe Biden: (00:55)
It’s going to be making some radical changes in our personal behaviors. More frequent and more thorough hand washing, staying home from work if you’re ill, but also altering the deeply ingrained habits in our country like handshakes and hugs, avoiding any large public gatherings…
The ‘social distancing’ guidance has been circulating for nearly two weeks. Actions to prevent spreading are already being done at various places across the country based on the call of local officials. In New York, Governor Cuomo let his inner fascist loose and called out the National Guard. Other, more civilized, places have relied upon school closings and voluntary curtailment of travel and gatherings.
Joe Biden: (01:43)
People, first above everything else. Yesterday, we announced the public health advisory committee of experts who will continue to counsel my campaign and me. Help guide our decisions on the steps to minimize further risks and we also, we will lead by science. The world [inaudible 00:02:06], officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic.[inaudible 00:02:12] Being overly dismissive or [inaudible 00:02:16] is only going to hurt us and further advance the spread of the disease, but neither should we panic or fall back on xenophobia labeling COVID-19 a foreign virus does not displace accountability for the misjudgments that have taken thus far by the Trump administration.
You mean a committee of experts composed of literally the top experts in the world on epidemiology and infectious diseases. Like here:
CREDIT: Office of the Vice President via Twitter https://twitter.com/Mike_Pence/status/1233881402527055875
Wuhan virus is a foreign virus. Period. Labeling diseases based on their origin is traditional, not ‘xenophobic.’ If the administration is to be criticized anywhere, it is in messaging. President Trump acted early — and was blasted by Democrats who are subservient to China — in banning travel to and from China as it remains the epicenter of the infection. A vaccine is ready for Phase II testing. A test has been developed, and today, thanks to the federal government waiving regulatory barriers, a much faster test was announced. Most of the new infections in the US are linked to Western Europe and last night, a moratorium was placed on air travel to and from continental Europe.
There are more political shots at the administration that range from laughable to blatant lies…typical Biden…then we come to The Plan:
Joe Biden: (05:33)
President Trump has welcomed to adopt all of it today. The core principle is simple. Public health professionals must be the ones making our public health decisions and communicating with the American people. Public health professional. It would be a step toward reclaiming public trust and confidence in the United States government as well. Towards stopping the fear and chaos that can overtake communities faster than this pandemic can overtake them. And it’s critical to mount an effective national response that will save lives, protect our frontline health workers, slow the spread of the virus.
Actually, public health officials can advise decisionmakers. The people who make the decisions have to be the people who face the voters. That’s how our system of government works. As my colleague, Mike Ford, has pointed out, this is actually much more of a logistics than a medical issue. Supplies and equipment need to be purchased and gotten to the right place at the right time. To the greatest extent possible, these decisions must be made at the state, county, and municipality level. This is just a typical Democrat smokescreen for marginalizing the people who are most knowledgeable about what will work in their areas and how to get it done.
Joe Biden: (06:14)
First. Anyone, anyone who needs to be tested based on medical guidance should be tested at no charge, at no charge. The administration’s failure on testing is colossal and it’s a failure of planning, leadership, and execution. The White House should measure and report each day, each and every day, how many tests have been ordered, how many tests have been completed, and how many have tested positive. By next week, the number of tests should be in the millions, not the thousands. We should make every person in a nursing home available for testing. Every senior center or vulnerable population has to have easy access to the test and we should establish hundreds of mobile testing sites, at least 25 per state and drive through testing centers to speed testing and protect the health of our workers.
As to testing, President Trump already got it done, securing a commitment from the nation’s insurance providers to waive all copays on coronavirus testing and expand coverage of coronavirus treatment in all their benefit plans. The rest of this is not a plan, it is a bureaucratic process. Testing in the US is decentralized, plus the number of tests given does zero. I see this demand for testing over and over but the test is no longer valid the moment it is taken. The tested person could be infected by the very next person they come in contact with. If there is a purpose to the test…like diagnosing someone with symptoms or evaluating someone who has been in contact with an infected person…fine. Testing, itself is pretty useless. Until today, the lag time on reading tests was a few days rendering it of even less value as anything but a historic record. You can’t test your way out of this.
Joe Biden: (07:12)
The CDC, private labs, universities, and manufacturers should be working lock step to get this done and get it done correctly. No effort should be spared. None. No excuses should be made. Tests should be available to all who need them and the government, the government should stop at nothing to make that happen. We must know the true extent of this outbreak so we can map it, trace it and contain it. Nor should we hide, the true number of infections in hope of protecting political interest or the stock market. The markets will respond strong, to strong, steady and capable leadership that addresses the root of the problem, not efforts to cover it up.
This sounds familiar. President Trump already acted on this weeks ago, ordering the FDA to allow hundreds of private labs and academic hospitals to rapidly begin testing for Wuhan virus.
Joe Biden: (07:58)
Secondly, we need to surge our capacity to both prevent and treat the coronavirus and prepare our hospitals to deal with this influx of those needing care as I’ve been saying for weeks. This means not just getting out testing kits and processing them quickly, but making sure communities have the hospital beds available. The staff, the medical supplies, the personal protective equipment necessary to treat the patients. The president should order FEMA to prepare of the capacity with local authorities to establish temporary hospitals with hundreds of beds in short notice. The Department of Defense should be planning now should have been planning to prepare for the potential deployment of the resources provided. Medical facility capacity on logistics support that only they can do.
Joe Biden: (08:53)
And a week from now, a month from now, we can need an instant 500 bed hospital to isolate and treat patients in any city in this country. We can do that, but we are not ready yet and the clock is ticking. As you take these steps, state, federal and local authorities need to ensure that there’s accurate up to date information available to every American citizen. To everyone so everyone can make an informed decision about when to get tested, when to self quarantine, when to seek medical treatment and the federal government should provide states and municipalities with clear guidance about when to trigger more aggressive mitigation policies such as closing schools.
An instant 500-bed hospital…Joe has been watching those Chinese videos again. Information is being provided to citizens in a timely manner. Decisions on when to close schools, etc., is a state and local decision but guidance has already been provided by CDC.
Joe Biden: (09:39)
Thirdly, we need to accelerate the development and treatment of a vaccine. Science takes time and it will still be many months before we have a vaccine that can be proven safe for public use and producing sufficient quantities to make a difference. But therapeutics can and should come sooner. This will save lives. When I put together and we passed the Cures Act of 2016 to accelerate work at the National Institute of Health, but now it has to be made available, make available resources to speed up, speed that process along. We have to fast track clinical trials within NIH while closely coordinated with the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration on trial approvals. So the science is not hindered by the bureaucracy and when a vaccine is ready to go. It should also be made widely available and again, free of charge.
Fact check. Joe Biden had jack freakin sh** to do with the Cures Act. It was introduced into the GOP controlled House of Representatives and passed by that House. Then it was passed by a GOP controlled Senate. Biden might have been at the signing ceremony to polish Barack Obama’s shoes but that was the limit of his involvement. That is exactly what President Trump has done, fast-tracking development of a vaccine to face clinical trials within months. If Biden is capable of reading the papers he would know that a Wuhan virus vaccine is entering clinical trials in record time.
A top U.S. official speaking to Congress on Thursday expressed confidence that potential coronavirus vaccines would be ready for in-human testing in record time.
Previously, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), suggested it would be two to three months before researchers injected the first people with experimental vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
Joe Biden: (10:41)
We should also immediately restore the White House security council directorate for global health security and biodefense with a full time dedicated, coordinated to over see that response. Our administration, our last administration, we created that office to better respond to future global threats after the Ebola crisis of 2014. It was designed for exactly this scenario, but for some reason I still don’t understand President Trump eliminated that office two years ago. Look, here’s the bottom line. We have to do what’s necessary to beat the challenge, beat this challenge sooner rather than later. We will beat it. I assure you, if we wait for it to worsen, then scramble to catch up. The human and economic toll will grow faster, larger and more dangerous.
All that council did was create an additional bureaucratic layer. The people who served on that council simply returned to their agencies and are, if still in government, working on the current crisis.
Joe Biden: (11:36)
Congress gave this administration $8 billion last week to fight the virus. We need to know exactly what that money is going to be used for. How quickly it’s going out the door, and exactly how it’s being spent. This brings me to the second half of the challenge in terms of economic dislocation that coronavirus is going to cause in our country. We must do whatever it takes, spend whatever it takes to deliver for our families and ensure the stability of our economy. Taking immediate bold measures to help Americans who are hurting economically right this minute.
This is sort of laughable after the fiasco of ‘shovel-ready jobs’ promised by Biden and Obama.
Joe Biden: (12:18)
It means we’ll need bigger and broader measures to shore up the economic demand, protect jobs, keep credit flowing to our job creators and make sure we have economic firepower we need to weather the storm and get the people and this economy back to full strength as soon as possible. This crisis will hit everyone, but it’ll hit folks who live paycheck to paycheck the hardest, including working people and seniors. Another tax cut to Google or Goldman or millionaires won’t get the job done. Another tax cut to these folks will not get the job done. Indiscriminate corporate tax subsidies won’t effectively target those who really need the help, now. We need to place our focus on those who are struggling just to get by. People are already losing jobs. We need to replace their wages. That includes workers in the gig economy who lack unemployment insurance.
Tax. Spend. Tax. Spend. Nothing here has anything to do with mitigating the spread of Wuhan virus or economic recovery. None of this could actually be enacted before the epidemic passes and a vaccine is available.
Joe Biden: (13:19)
Parents already struggling with childcare costs. We need to give them relief. Children who rely on school lunches, we need to provide food for them. Schools will need to help in ensuring children who don’t have easy access to computers can still learn if their schools shut down. People who have difficulty paying their rent or mortgage because they’ve been laid off or had their hours cut back. We need to help them to stay in their apartments, and their homes. Small businesses will be devastated as customers stay home and adventure canceled. And we need to make sure they have access to interest free loans, not loans with interest, interest free loans. It’s a national disgrace that millions of our fellow citizens don’t have a single day of paid sick leave available to them. You need both a permanent plan for paid sick leave and an emergency plan for everyone who needs it due to the outbreak, now.
Much of this is nonsense. This virus will run its course in a max of six to eight weeks. School lunches are already funded, the distribution problem is best solved locally. President Trump already moved decisively to provide $50 billion in liquidity to small business owners, and is asking Congress for even more. Eight billion dollars was just appropriated to offset the economic impact. There is no reason here to engage in a massive program of the federal government gaining control over the benefits package of every company in the nation based on this epidemic. If companies can afford to pay sick leave, then I’m sure they will want to retain their workers. If they can’t pay them, there is already unemployment insurance which states control. Based on what we saw in the housing market crash, banks are no more interested in foreclosing on your house than you are in making it happen. The duration of this will be relatively short and the important thing is ensuring businesses are still there to take workers back.
This is not a plan. This is a roadmap for increasing federal taxation and eroding the authority of state and local governments and civic institutions to be able to deal with future crises without direct control by the federal government. If you strip out the policy preferences, Biden does nothing more than plagiarize what the Trump administration has already accomplished. Not what they still have to do but what they have already done.
If you are familiar with Biden’s career this is not a shock. In the 1988 Democrat primary, Biden was forced to admit that he had plagiarized a law review article he’d written while in law school. He was nailed stealing speech material from both John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey, and the wheels finally came off his campaign and he was forced from the Democrat primary because he gave an account of his upbringing that was plagiarized from a speech given by British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock.
This year, his climate change plan was found to have been plagiarized, also.
The other familiar motif here is Biden lying about his accomplishments. Ever since he started this last quest for the White House, Biden has lied about his role in major policy initiatives — in which he played zero role. His claim to involvement in the Cures Act is just another in his series of lies about his legislative accomplishments.
Biden’s strategy is clear. He’s proposing the exact same thing that Trump is already doing wrapped in a liberal masturbatory fantasy of policy prescriptions. At some later point, when this is abated, he’s going to claim that the Trump administration was totally adrift and used his plan to save the day.
In short, Biden’s plan is not a plan. It is a policy wishlist. The actual elements within the wishlist that pertain to Wuhan virus in the United States have already been accomplished or put in motion by the Trump administration. This is quintessential Joe Biden. Lie, cheat, and steal.