Few things are more pathetic in public life than an irrelevant politician flailing about trying to seem as though he matters. Hillary Clinton has raised this to an art form in the past months. But #QuidProJoe takes a backseat to no one in the race to irrelevancy. With his campaign stagnating and reduced to ‘live,’ nearly embalmed would be a better description, statements on Facebook where he loses his place and falls asleep, Biden has been further shunted to the side by the Wuhan virus crisis. Now, in an attempt to show President Trump how ‘it’s really done,’ Biden has attempted to interject himself into the management of that travesty.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is offering to call President Trump to discuss a strategy to combat the coronavirus pandemic rocking the nation, Fox News has learned.
Biden’s offer comes after Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, challenged him to “call the White House today and offer some support.”
The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on whether the president would be receptive to Biden’s offer for a phone call, or when the proposed phone call between the two could take place.
Biden has been offering advice and warnings to Trump about the coronavirus in media interviews and appearances for months. Wednesday, however, is the first time the former vice president is offering to speak with the president directly.
“Vice President Biden has been extending his advice for months, and he did so again on the air last night,” Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield told Fox News. “As he has said repeatedly, Donald Trump is not accountable for coronavirus itself — but he is accountable for the federal government’s slow and chaotic response to this outbreak.”
“Unfortunately, Trump spent months after the virus was discovered disregarding repeated warnings from his scientific and intelligence experts, and downplaying the threat of this outbreak to the American people,” she continued. “He could have heeded Vice President Biden’s public advice not to take China’s word as they misled the world about their efforts to stop the spread.”
Bedingfield added: “The Obama-Biden administration even wrote a literal playbook for pandemic response, but unfortunately Trump’s administration left it on the shelf. Now we have more coronavirus cases than any other country.”
In a sane world where Joe Biden was napping by the pudding table with a drool cup suspended under his chin rather than being on the cusp of becoming the Democrat nominee for president, a sense of proportionality and self-awareness would have kicked in and this conversation would only have taken place in Biden’s mind. But this is not a sane world. There is virtually not a true statement in anything that this Bedingfield creature says. It was the Trump administration that began research on a vaccine before the first case arrived in the US. It was President Trump who imposed travel restrictions and removed bureaucratic red tape that was impeding both testing and treatment protocols. The idea that Biden, who has appeared at time as though he was a owned by China, contributed anything of value about China’s duplicity is laughable. The ‘playbook’ that Bedingfiled referred to, as revealed by Politico, is nothing more than a laundry list of potential actions that could be taken in the event of a pandemic. It doesn’t identify decision points for actions or provide any useful material. If a brigade or division operations officer had presented that garbage to the commander he would have rightly had his ass kicked up around his shirt collar.
Making this worse it that this is the guy who counseled Barack Obama to not carry out the raid that killed bin Laden. This is the guy who former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates pointed out had been on the wrong side of every major policy issue for “the past 40 years.”
This is Biden’s play. He’s not in the actual loop for receiving up to date information about what the administration is doing. He isn’t smart enough to use that information if he had it. He’s trying to set up a win-win for himself. On the one hand, he’s trying to position himself as the wise old veteran who is willing to rise above the political fray and lend his experience to the hapless OrangeMan. He knows he’s going to get turned down. He’s counting on it. And then he can say that he predicted every twist and turn remaining in the crisis but Trump would not talk to him. The real win for him would be Trump accepting the call and then Biden taking credit for every success the Trump administration has worked to achieve and blaming shortcomings on them not taking his advice.
After an initial testy period, President Trump and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo seemed to have reached a modus vivendi on how to react to the Wuhan virus crisis. Considering that their fates were basically intertwined, this was a great move by both men. The situation is serious enough without the two men most at the front line of the fight bashing each other.
That truce was violated yesterday during Cuomo’s daily press conference. The video is cued up to this exchange.
Zack: Governor, I noticed you didn’t mention President Trump by name today. You mentioned federal government, you mentioned Secretary Gazier are, I wonder if you could tell us [inaudible 00:12:02] they seem very dug in. Peter Navarro. Larry Kudlow are telling them not to do this. They say they’ve got their own supply chain stabilization board with the staff general [inaudible 00:12:18].
Andrew Cuomo: Yeah, yeah, yeah. People say, people say, people say politician say. Yeah, I look at actions, not words. They’re doing the supplies? Here’s my question. Where are they? Where are the ventilators? Where are the gowns? Where’s the PPEs? Where are the masks? Where are they? Where are they if they’re doing it? And by the way, Peter Navarro, well we want to work with companies, fine, work with companies. What the defense procurement act was about, the country needed materials to go to war. When we went to war, we didn’t say, “Any company out there want to build a battle battleship? Who wants to build a battleship? Maybe a couple of you guys could get together and build a battleship. Maybe a couple of you guys could get together and build us some missiles, maybe you think? Anybody want to build a plane? We’re going to need planes. They’re sending planes at us and they’re dropping bonds. Anybody want to do that?”
Andrew Cuomo: That’s not how you did it. President said, “It’s a war.” It is a war. Well then act like it’s a war and it’s not anti-business. Nobody’s talking about changing the governmental philosophy. By the way, the businesses would welcome it. I speak to the businesses. You know what they say, “I’ll do it, but I need startup capital. I can’t turn my factory overnight into a ventilator manufacturing company. I have to buy equipment. I have to find personnel. I have a lot of startup capital. Will you give me the startup capital? Will you give me an order that says if I go through all this, you will buy X number of units?” It’s actually a pro-business mentality, not an anti-business mentality. This is a false distinction.
Andrew Cuomo: Well, we don’t want to tell business what to do. That’s our philosophy. We don’t want to tell business what to do. You know what business wants? They want to make money. That’s what they want. They want to put people to work. They want to open their factory, they want to make money. Let them open their factory and make money. Help them do that by ordering the supplies you need. It’s a war. You’re right. Say, “Zack, you’re building battleships. Here’s your contract. God bless you.” That’s what the defense procurement act was all about. And at the rate they are going, it is not happening. FEMA says, “We’re sending 400 ventilators.” Really? What am I going to do with 400 ventilators when I need 30,000? You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die because you only sent 400 ventilators.
There is a lot of bullsh** being slung by Cuomo in this. Some of it is playing to a national office (message: I’m on top of things but the feds are screwing me). Some of it is simply because Cuomo is given to bouts of melodramatic excitement which frightens people because he acts like he’s about to lose his crap. The odds of New York needing 30,000 ventilators is pretty slim. In the current situation, no matter how much money you throw at the problem, it will be difficult for an manufacturer to either increase production or retool their existing production lines to churn out 30,000 FDA approved medical devices in a two week period.
President Trump noted the criticism and was ready and waiting when he convened a virtual town hall on FoxNews yesterday with his Wuhan virus team. The video is cued for your convenience.
Donald Trump: Well, I think they’re actually coming together. We had a bill that was done the other night and then all of a sudden somebody else injected herself in and all … we didn’t have anything that was even remotely signable. But now I hear just from a few minutes ago that they’re doing well and it’s for the workers, it’s for the people of the country and I hear they’re doing pretty well, so we’ll see how it comes out. I watched Governor Cuomo and he was very nice. We’re building him hospitals. We’re building him medical centers and he was complaining about … we’re doing probably more, definitely more than anybody else. And he was talking about the ventilators, but he should have ordered the ventilators and he had a choice, he had a chance because right here, I just got this out that he refused to order 15,000 ventilators. I’ll show this to Bill, but take a look at that, Bill. What does that say?
Bill Hemmer: Is this social distancing here?
Donald Trump: This says that New York Governor Cuomo rejected buying recommended 16,000 ventilators in 2015 for the pandemic, for a pandemic, established death panels and lotteries instead. So he had a chance to buy in 2015, 16,000 ventilators at a very low price and he turned it down. I’m not blaming him or anything else, but he shouldn’t be talking about us. He’s supposed to be buying his own ventilators. We’re going to help. But if you think about, Governor Cuomo, we’re building him four hospitals, we’re building him four medical centers, we’re working very, very hard for the people of New York. We’re working along with him and then I watch him on the show complaining. And he had 16,000 ventilators that he could have had at a great price that he didn’t buy them.
At its most severe, coronavirus attacks the lungs, making it impossible to breathe without a ventilator. Landing in the hospital on a ventilator is bad. But worse is being told you can’t have one. After learning that the state’s stockpile of medical equipment had 16,000 fewer ventilators than New Yorkers would need in a severe pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo came to a fork in the road in 2015. He could have chosen to buy more ventilators. Instead, he asked his health commissioner, Howard Zucker to assemble a task force and draft rules for rationing the ventilators they already had.
That task force came up with rules that will be imposed when ventilators run short. Patients assigned a red code will have the highest access, and other patients will be assigned green, yellow or blue (the worst) depending on a “triage officer’s” decision. In truth, a death officer. Let’s not sugarcoat it. It won’t be up to your own doctor.
Cuomo could have purchased the additional 16,000 needed ventilators for $36,000 apiece or a total of $576 million in 2015. It’s a lot of money but less than the $750 million he threw away on a boondoggle “Buffalo Billion” solar panel factory. When it comes to state budget priorities, spending half a percent of the budget on ventilators is a no brainer.
Across New York, there were 7,241 ventilators in acute care settings, and another 1,750 stockpiled for use in an emergency, according to a 2015 state report. The report noted that the supply of ventilators would be inadequate for a pandemic on the scale of the 1918 flu outbreak.
The task force that issued the report devised a formula, relying partially on medical criteria, to help hospitals decide who would get ventilators and who would not. It also envisioned a lottery system in some instances. And age could play a role, with children being given preference over adults.
The guidelines consist of four parts: Adult Guidelines, Pediatric Guidelines, Neonatal Guidelines, and Legal Consideration when Implementing the Guidelines. New York is the first state to develop innovative clinical protocols that address special considerations in treating children and neonates. The adult clinical protocol was updated and revised from the 2007 draft guidelines.
The guidelines were developed with input from experts in the fields of medicine, ethics, law, and policy as well as members of the public. Key points include:
The guidelines provide an evidence-based clinical framework that support the goal of saving the most lives in an influenza pandemic in which there are a limited number of available ventilators.
All patients in need of a ventilator are subject to one of the three clinical protocols, using objective, universally-applied clinical criteria to evaluate a patient’s likelihood of survival. Patients who have the highest likelihood of survival with ventilator therapy receive priority. Factors such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, advanced age, perceived quality of life, ability to pay, role in the community, or other subjective criteria will never be part of the evaluation in determining who receives ventilator therapy.
To ensure that patients receive the best possible care in a pandemic, the guidelines call for a triage officer or triage committee to determine who receives or continues to receive ventilator therapy. To prevent a conflict of interest, these decision-makers are not the patients’ attending physicians. The decision regarding whether to use a triage officer or committee is up to each hospital, given the different resources at each site.
The guidelines apply only to patients at hospitals and not to ventilator-dependent chronic care patients at long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. However, if such a patient requires hospital care, the patient is then subject to the clinical protocol.
Patients not receiving ventilator therapy should receive alternative forms of medical intervention. Palliative care will be provided to all patients to manage patient discomfort.
During a pandemic the guidelines will be modified as new information is obtained. Data collection and analysis of the pandemic viral strain, as well as symptoms, disease course, treatments, and survival, will be taken into consideration, so that patients receive the best care possible.
Additional public outreach efforts will be conducted regarding the guidelines and the public will have opportunities to comment on them.
“The guidelines were written to reflect the values of New Yorkers, and extensive efforts were made to obtain public input during their development,” said Susie Han, Deputy Director of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law and project chair of the guidelines. “The guidelines are a living document, intended to be updated and revised in line with advances in clinical knowledge and societal norms.”
Not to put too fine a point on it, but when a Democrat was in the White House, Andrew Cuomo had a rather laissez faire attitude towards supplies of medical equipment and a decidedly die-and-go-to-hell opinion of people in need of said equipment.
Very little happens in political Washington in a vacuum. It is the one place in the United States where the cause and effect are so directly linked that the phrase “correlation is not causation” is practically meaningless. The Wuhan virus crisis has brought this into stark relief.
Late last week, a series of polls were published that showed a dramatic increase in President Trump’s approval rate for the handling of the Wuhan virus crisis and just about everything else associated with it.
Trump is doing harm and spreading misinformation while working for his own partisan political benefit — a naked attempt to portray himself as a wartime president bravely leading the nation through a tumultuous time, the FDR of the 21st century.
The press — if it defines its purpose as getting truthful, useful, non-harmful information to the public, as opposed to merely juicing its own ratings and profits — must recognize what is happening and adjust accordingly. (And that, granted, is a very big “if.”)
Business as usual simply doesn’t cut it. Minor accommodations, like fact-checking the president’s statements afterward, don’t go nearly far enough to counter the serious damage this man is doing to the public’s well-being.
Radical change is necessary: The cable networks and other news organizations that are taking the president’s briefings as live feeds should stop doing so.
From the ever lovely and gracious Rachel Maddow:
Maddow: If Trump is going to keep lying like he has been every day on stuff this important, we should, all of us, stop broadcasting it. Honestly, it's going to cost lives. pic.twitter.com/tMvyrE3YTK
I know we ought to be getting used to this kind of thing by now, but I’m not. President Trump today, again, just flat-out wrong in public about this malaria drug that has gotten stuck in his mind, quite some distance from the facts.
If the president does end up saying anything true, you can run it as tape but if he keeps lying like this every day on stuff this important, all of us should stop broadcasting it. Honestly, it’s gonna cost lives.
The Trump administration’s most recent press briefings on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic have been downright frightening, even more so than usual.
Even with two doctors present — Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, who have injected some semblance of stability, reassurance and truth — President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s performance Friday was nothing less than despicable.
These have not been White House press conferences; they are three-ring circuses with Trump as the deranged ringmaster.
Enough is enough. Americans deserve so much better than what this president offers every time he approaches the podium.
He needs to give up the daily press briefings and let the experts take control so that they can use these press conferences to reassure Americans in our time of distress and not cause more fear when we need it least.
In addition, to demanding that media outlets stop giving President Trump’s Wuhan virus briefings live coverage (this is a rather stunning proposal for the same clowns who beshat themselves when the White House stopped doing live daily press briefings), they are also engaged in a conscious campaign of disinformation about what President Trump actually says. RedState’s Nick Arama covered this in detail yesterday in Media Post Misleading Info to Dash Hopes for Possible Drug Cure Which Trump Touted. This morning NeverTrumper and Devin Nunes nemesis Liz Mair was out with the same line:
Chloroquine seems like it *might* work in some cases. Z-pac is for INFECTIONS not viruses. It’s also not great for full-on pneumonia, only walking pneumonia and sinus infections. Stop spreading fake news that will deplete antibiotic supply, build antibiotic immunity and not help. https://t.co/0Y8CFni12L
Never mind that the information comes from a medical journal and is based on a small scale clinical trial:
“Despite its small sample size our survey shows that hydroxychloroquine treatment is significantly associated with viral load reduction/disappearance in COVID-19 patients and its effect is reinforced by azithromycin.” pic.twitter.com/UWzPBQEbHV
This sudden concern has zero to do with public health or any concern about the safety of Americans. The press, quite honestly, seems incapable of developing any empathy whatsoever for working Americans who live outside of elite liberal enclaves where the major fear now is the family’s nanny being deported. It has everything to do with the press conferences showing Trump in command in a decisive way, with him and his staff announcing data and actions directly to the American public without Glenn Kessler and Politifact injecting Democrat spin; it has to do with Trump coming across as a real individual and not the caricature the left, the media, and their NeverTrump fluffers have made him out to be. He is not, as Mike Ford points out, a stellar communicator in the technical sense. Were he at the Infantry School, he’d never be allowed within a country mile of a podium to present a formal block of instruction. But he gets the job done and the American people are growing to appreciate his candor and forthrightness. And the media and the left simply cannot allow that to happen because if this takes hold, not only will Trump cruise to reelection, he will be a force to be reckoned with in his next term.
Earlier today, Joe Biden, aka #QuidProJoe or #JoeDemento, was touring an auto plant in Detroit. As my colleagueBonchie reported, things went south in a big way when an auto worker confronted Biden about his pledge to outlaw semi-automatic rifles, particularly those of the AR-14 variety.
RELEVANT: Before dropping out, O’Rourke said, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15.” He also warned that those popular and legal rifles are “weapons of war, designed to kill people efficiently on a battlefield” and promised to “buy back every single assault weapon.”
Joe Biden is touring an auto plant in Michigan, a *must win* for Democrats. A blue collar Union autoworker asks Joe about protecting gun rights. Biden: – Screams at voter – Points finger in his face – Says he will ban “AR-14s” – Insults him – Looks scaredpic.twitter.com/xgVLRDd2SR
This is simply unhinged behavior that indicates the stress of the campaign is accelerating the pace of Biden’s dementia onset. A few months ago, the tame, compliant Democrat media would have tut-tutted over it but now that Joe Biden is the presumptive Democrat nominee, it is all hands on deck to defend the indefensible. One of the first out of the box was The Atlantic’s David Frum. I’d just like to note that Frum was a speaker at the goat-rope-and-county-fair mash up that was the Summit on Principled Conservatism.
Kind of amazing that anybody thinks this video makes Biden look anything other than terrific. He shushes the aide who wants to lead him away – and then engages a hostile critic face to face, fact to fact. Impressive. https://t.co/yINIKi4Ffi
The unnamed Republican campaign vet/strategist is the journalistic equivalent of the ‘woke eight-year-old.’ It is a bullsh** designation used to try to launch a narrative. What Martin is really saying is ‘the professionals think what Biden did was great and wondrous but the rube voters don’t understand.’
There is virtually no one out there who hasn’t experienced this type of behavior from someone in a position of power. And you know what, no one thinks it is terrific. No one loves it. No one thinks it makes Biden look like anything but the worst sort of ass. Shouting down citizens who apparently know your record and rhetoric better than you, yourself, is not a good look.
If you want proof, here’s a simple test. If anyone thought this made Biden look like anything but a ill-tempered, doddering old fool, this video would be playing on every television station and cable news outlet non-stop both today and for the next week to help him in two critical rounds of primaries. But that will not happen. Other than FoxNews, you won’t see this video ever again.