By Alex Mangie – On April 1st, my dad died from COVID-19, and nothing Joe Biden says he would have done as president can change that fact. As I watched the first presidential debate this week as Biden stared into the camera and asked the public about how many people sat staring at an empty chair because of Donald Trump’s handling of COVID, his words rang very hollow. He offered harsh criticism over the known results of the last six months and levied judgment the way a football fan would decry a coach’s decision by offering the typical “if I had been the coach, I would not have run that play in that situation” argument, without any proof that plan would have been successful.
Would Joe Biden’s approach to COVID-19 been successful six months ago? It is impossible to know, and empirically it is impossible to prove. Hindsight is 20/20, so for a person like Joe Biden, it is very easy to look at results and say he could have done better without having any ability to prove such a statement. That is why his words are so cheap and insincere, and why his politicizing the death of my father is something I personally resent.
To say my father died from COVID-19 may not be as accurate as saying COVID-19 contributed to his death. My father was overweight, he was fighting an auto-immune disease called temporal arteritis and was taking steroids for it, and after he passed we discovered he had pancreatic cancer. Before COVID-19 ever became an issue, my dad was in bad shape, and undoubtedly in worse shape than he and my family ever realized. Arguably, if COVID-19 had not been the tipping point for my dad’s demise, the pancreatic cancer would likely have taken him this year, or any bout of the seasonal flu or pneumonia would have yielded the same results that COVID-19 brought.
Joe Biden’s plan would not have stopped that. Donald Trump could not stop that. Death comes for us all and no amount of Monday morning quarterbacking would have spared my dad. As of March and April, treatments were unknown. A vaccine was believed to be a year or two out. Doctors and nurses were flying blind and throwing spaghetti at the wall hoping something would stick. The true nature of this virus was still unknown—Biden cited Trump’s closing of travel to China as a xenophobic overreaction, Nancy Pelosi was strolling around Chinatown in San Francisco proclaiming everything was fine, and Dr. Fauci had stated previously that the virus was nothing we need to worry about at the present time. In time, Fauci’s opinion changed, and the administration responded the way it did.
Had Joe Biden been president, would his actions have been all that different from what Trump did?
What Joe Biden and the press neglect to mention is that barring some unforeseen departure, Dr. Fauci would have been the constant variable between the Trump administration and a Hillary Clinton administration, or a Biden administration for that matter. Fauci has been on record at Congressional hearings saying Trump’s actions have saved lives, and that they have largely been in agreement with the major decisions that had been made to slow the spread of the virus.
It could be safely argued that Joe Biden would have relied on Fauci’s advice, and ultimately he would have followed suit and barred travel to Europe and China. It can also be safely argued that the medical community would be no better at treating this virus, as this would be a novel virus regardless of which administration was in charge. Biden can say he would have done a better job making testing available or done a better job with PPE and shutting the country down even sooner than it did, but that has as much credence as saying you could have made the game winning field goal if you were on the team last year—any of Biden’s “coulda, woulda, shoulda’s” are bunk, because they cannot be proven. Given the knowledge available in March and April, it is impossible to conclude Biden would have made any significantly different decisions, and that they would have had better results.
For Trump’s part, a Chinese virus was thrust upon the U.S. and he did the best he could with the knowledge available at the time. Deaths from the virus have been on the decline, treatments available now are much better than they were at the onset, and an unprecedented effort has been made to come up with a vaccine in an incredibly short period of time that hopefully will be available in the next few months. Trump’s methods for dealing with the virus have admittedly been imperfect, but any plan for dealing with matters of this gravity will have bumps and failures—particularly when a society conditioned for immediate results and fixes wants a solution for an unknown illness that requires time, resources, and patience.
I do not believe Biden’s response in March 2020 would have been all that different from Trump’s response, and I do not believe Biden could have saved my dad any more than Trump could. Unfortunately for the electorate, Biden has anointed himself as Captain Hindsight, and he would have you believe otherwise—that he could have saved my dad, your grandmother, or your brother. But the fact of the matter is, it is impossible to prove that, and irresponsible of him to suggest that. He and the Democratic Party have been full of vitriol and have been out for Trump since 2015, and to think they would try to politicize the deaths of people like my dad on a false idea makes me nauseous. At the end of the day, my dad is still dead, and Biden’s opinion that he could have changed that outcome is just conjecture and empty words.