A super PAC supporting former Vice President Joe Biden released an ad on Wednesday containing multiple claims attacking President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis that had already been dunked by left-wing fact checkers.
The ad begins by showing photos of past presidents – Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – suggesting they all handled crises just fine (which is definitely not what Biden and other Democrats said at the time). As the photos are shown, an announcer says, “Donald Trump didn’t create the coronavirus, but he is the one who called ‘hoax.’ Who eliminated the pandemic response team. And who let the virus spread unchecked across America. Crisis comes to every president. This one failed.”
The ad comes from the Unite the Country PAC, an odd name for a PAC trying to sow distrust of the current president. Though the ad appeared on Wednesday, each claim made in it had already been debunked by numerous left-leaning fact checkers.
The claim that Trump called the coronavirus a “hoax,” was debunked by The Washington Post, FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, Check Your Fact, and Snopes. As The Daily Wire previously reported, Trump didn’t call the coronavirus a hoax; he was calling the Democrat claim that he wasn’t doing anything about the coronavirus a hoax:
Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. Coronavirus. They’re politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs, you say, “How’s President Trump doing?” They go, “Oh, not good, not good.” They have no clue; they don’t have any clue. They can’t even count their votes in Iowa. They can’t count their votes!
One of my people came up to me and said, “Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia. That didn’t work out too well. They couldn’t do it. They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation. They tried anything, they tried it over and over. They’ve been doing it since you got in. It’s all turning, they lost, it’s all turning. Think of it. And this is their new hoax.”
The ad’s second claim was that Trump “eliminated the pandemic response team.” This claim also was debunked by The Washington Post, FactCheck.org, and National Security Council official Tim Morrison, writing in RealClearPolitics that he was in charge of what has been referred to as the “pandemic response team” within the National Security Council (it’s actually the counterproliferation and biodefense directorate) and said he left the post and passed it on to someone else – meaning it was not eliminated.
As to the third claim in the ad, that Trump “let the virus spread unchecked across America,” this is wildly untrue. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency for the coronavirus on January 31 and announced on that day that travel restrictions would be placed on those coming to the U.S. from China, which would being on February 2.
The biggest blow to the ad’s credibility is that the man Biden has made the center of his own coronavirus response, former Obama White House Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain, was saying as early as January 30 that Azar was taking “wise steps” to combat the virus.
Due to the complete falsehoods laid out in the ad, Trump’s campaign sent a cease and desist letter to TV stations to try and get them to halt airing the ad, Deadline reported. Trump has been polling favorably for his response to the coronavirus, but the letter suggests his campaign is worried that the false claims could hurt the president’s re-election.