‘He turns everything into what he thinks is a political benefit for himself, and he’s actually imploding in the process…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) As President Donald Trump announced in his Wednesday address from the Oval Office a 30-day travel ban on European countries where the coronavirus has spread rapidly, the president’s attackers reflexively sought to spin it into a liability.
— Alessandro Motta (@MottaIT) March 12, 2020
However, many faced a dilemma whether to bash the president for xenophobia or bash him for failing to take the pandemic outbreak seriously.
During testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, widely cited pandemic authority Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, commended Trump for trying to curb travel from infected regions, as Summit News reported.
“Whenever you look at the history of outbreaks, what you see now in an uncontained way … we keep getting people coming into the country that are travel-related,” Fauci said.
“We will see more cases and things will get worse than they are right now,” he continued. “How much worse they get will depend on our ability to do two things: To contain the influx of people who are infected coming from the outside and the ability to contain and mitigate within our own country.”
Yet, as the virus reached U.S. shores and turned from slow-burning concern to widespread alarm, House Democrats doubled-down on their NO BAN Act legislation, intended as a legislative last resort after open-border activists failed to achieve the desired outcome through the Supreme Court.
Last week, the House Judiciary Committee gave the go-ahead for HR-2214, which would seek to negate three executive orders from Trump that empowered government agencies to ban travel from certain countries.
The House act originally was introduced last April by Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., along with 63 cosponsors. Its latest version saw the addition of 156 others, bringing the total to 219 cosponsors. All are Democrats.
While most signed on prior to the virus’s outbreak, some, such as Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., shrugged off the threat by signing on as recently as last week.
As Summit News reported, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders also made clear in a recent town-hall gathering that he opposed at travel ban.
Trump’s planned 30-day ban, announced on Wednesday evening, was—expectedly—panned by some leaders in Europe.
“The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hot spots,” Trump said. “As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe”.
Several EU members, however, have also initiated their own travel bans now. The Week flashed a bold headline declaring that “The entire country of Norway is ‘shutting down.'”
Meanwhile, the Left struggled to strike the right tone between jubilation over a long-awaited economic downturn and brow-furrowing concern.
Some—including Democratic front-runner Joe Biden—sought, without evidence, to claim that Trump’s reaction to the health threat, in seeking to avoid widespread panic, was based solely on his desire to politicize the crisis and protect the economy.
Biden said that Trump should “just be quiet” about it and let experts handle the matter.
In an exclusive interview with @Lawrence, former Vice President @JoeBiden reacts to Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus and the market turmoil. Watch the full interview Monday at 10pm ET on @MSNBC. pic.twitter.com/IUOiUWPDKW
— The Last Word (@TheLastWord) March 9, 2020
“I think there’s no confidence in the president in anything he says or does,” Biden told MSNBC’s Last Word. “He turns everything into what he thinks is a political benefit for himself, and he’s actually imploding in the process. But there’s a lot of innocent bystanders being badly hurt.”
Likewise, frequent Trump critic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, who had recently tried to ply Trump with sweet nothings over the initial coronavirus response, saw his opening to resume attacks on Trump Wednesday, complaining that the federal bureaucracy had gotten in the way and that New York would begin its own testing.
““They underestimated the challenge,” said Cuomo, who himself had downplayed the threat last week. “Now, who and how and why, I don’t know.”
Cuomo also announced a plan to have prisoners manufacture a proprietary brand of New York hand sanitizer that would rival price-gouging companies like Purell.