After three years of watching concerted 24×7 Democrat-media attacks on President Trump, I never thought I would use that title for an article, but even a few leftwing media personalities and a couple of governors have praised the President’s leadership in handling the Wuhan virus crisis in recent weeks, including Joe Scarborough, Dana Bash, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA), and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY).
Lou Dobbs discussed this topic and more with Kimberly Strassel, who is on the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, and author of the new book Resistance (At all Costs): How Trump Haters are Breaking America. She is a level-headed journalist, and one of my long-time favorites on the national scene.
Dobbs: More of the leftwing national media and Democrat governors are applauding the President’s efforts to contain the Wuhan virus.
(cut to Dana Bash: “If you look at the big picture, this was remarkable from the President of the United States. This is nonpartisan … this is an important thing to note and to applaud from an American standpoint … from a human standpoint.”)
(cut to Joe Scarborough: “The President was sober; he did what a president is supposed to do.”)
(cut to Andrew Cuomo: “He is fully engaged and trying to help New York, and I thank him for his partnership.”)
(cut to Gavin Newsom: “He said everything that I could have hoped for, and we had a very long conversation, and every single thing he said they followed through on.”)
Isn’t it remarkable to see this movement from the Left – some of the luminaries of the Left in fact – this is a very positive development, right?
Strassel: All it took was a global pandemic to make everybody understand that actually they could work with Donald J Trump. I only wish that this had come about somewhat sooner because you have to stop and think what we might have accomplished in the country over the last three years if this had been the general approach. Look, we’ re always going to have partisan differences and ideological difference, but simply the attitude that this is someone whom you could work with … doing that instead of impeachment and nonstop investigations … I think it’s been a real eyeopener.
Dobbs: I want to take up some of the things that China has done, at least in NY Times-speak. One headline and quote from the NY Times: “Its Coronavirus Cases Dwindling, China Turns Focus Outward. Bejing is mounting a humanitarian aid blitz in countries struggling with their own outbreaks. In doing so, it’s stepping into a role the West once dominated.” Yet in the same issue, we find an article that stated the Chinese were selling that medical equipment that they had been lauded for giving, contributing, donating to the Italians.
Strassel: First of all, the US still dominates the world in terms of our ingenuity and what we’re doing to deal with this crisis, and that just puts all that more attention on that Times story, which made little reference to why China is engaging in this effort. And it’s doing so because of its own absolutely inept and unforgivable handling of this virus in the beginning, in which it suppressed information about it, took seven weeks to lock down Wuhan, in which time five million people had left China and spread this across the world. These are the questions that need to be getting asked of China right now, and unfortunately, we don’t even have many Western reporters in the country because they cracked down on them … expelling Western reporters who happen to be asking difficult questions.
Dobbs: I didn’t hear any difficult questions from the White House press corps today. There were nasty questions, there were silly questions, there were vapid questions, and as I looked around the room, there appeared to be some people in the room who were so young that they couldn’t possibly have worked on a police beat, a fire beat, a city desk for very long. They looked young and inexperienced, and they asked bizarre questions, for example, wanting to chide the President for what they term racism in his continuing reference to the “China virus.” I just cannot believe the quality of reporting by these people in the White House press corps.
Strassel: We are now starting to get some push-back on that ludicrous idea that blaming China for this and putting culpability squarely where it belongs is in any way racist. By the way, it’s also not racist to call out what is an authoritarian regime. No one is suggesting that the average Chinese person is in any way responsible for their government’s mishandling of this. In terms of the press corps, this is been evidenced for three years now if not longer, that whatever standards the press used to have and could take pride in in this industry have just completely gone away, and that they have joined one side for partisan warfare. It’s somewhat remarkable to me that you named all those Democrat officials who are being far more openminded and honest about the progress that we are making about this than even their allies in the press corps are these days.
Dobbs: Let’s turn to this slow testing and supplies. We know that there have been difficulties initially in getting test kits out. It’s still a clumsy … and unpleasant test … this up-the-nose kind of whatever procedure you’d call it. Why aren’t we more advanced at this at this particular time?
Strassel: I was watching Bernie Sanders at the debate [with Joe Biden] saying that if we just had a socialized healthcare system, we wouldn’t have these problems. The reality is the federal government and state governments are now doing a much better job of coordinating their messages, coordinating resources, and taking a lead here. But we cannot forget that the single biggest failure that the United States has had so far fell on government, and that was the CDC’s decision unilaterally to handle testing, in which they failed. We now see – and it’s incredibly reassuring – who is coming riding to the rescue. It’s the private sector. We’ve got companies that are getting their testing up … private labs ready to go … retailers that are turning over the parking lots to make way for drive-thru testing … this is part of the new national effort. But also, [there are a lot of other actions going,] and this is what we’ve come to expect from capitalism in crises past, and it’s going to be an enormous aspect of how we get through this.
Dobbs: Among many aspects of this historic presidency, moving a public-private partnership forward in the pharmaceutical industry … in the medical device manufacturing industry … across the board … what he has done and what he has done in clearing the path [for rapid private sector response]. Let’s listen to what Dr. Stephen Hahn of the FDA had to say: “I want to thank you for your leadership during this coronavirus outbreak. … We have 10,000 scientists, doctors, and others and more than that working around the clock to aid the American people in this fight against the coronavirus.” Your reaction?
Strassel: The strength of this country’s response is going to be an administration that takes all of the talents that are in the government and blends it with the extraordinary ingenuity of a private sector that is unrivaled around the world. That is the strength of the American capitalist system, how it has been and how it always will be.
End of the Q&A. While political hacks like Hillary Clinton continue to harp about shortages of tests, at least part of the blame falls on the CDC itself for seeking to centrally control the testing process, as opposed to decentralizing and delegating testing authority to others.
While many in the legacy media continue to bleat the ChiCom party line about the Wuhan virus, most Americans – less elected Democrats – are coming together during this crisis and responding to the leadership of the President and his team. I predict that even more Americans will do so in the days ahead as positive results are achieved in combatting the virus and treating the infected.