Former Vice President Joe Biden gave his first shadow coronavirus briefing over the weekend, yet the candidate didn’t appear in the video. Instead, former White House Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain outlined what Biden would do if he were president during the coronavirus outbreak.
Unfortunately for Biden, everything Klain said he would do is exactly what President Donald Trump is already doing.
“First, Joe Biden would fix the testing fiasco,” Klain said in the video, which Biden tweeted out on Saturday. “Second, he would direct the FEMA or the U.S. military to set up emergency hospitals, 500-bed units that could be dropped on the parking lot, wherever they’re needed.”
“Third, he would give the doctors and nurses the help that they need. That means protective gear so they can be safe as they treat coronavirus patients, and it means accelerating our work on cures and vaccines,” Klain continued. “And finally, because the coronavirus crisis is going to have huge impacts on our economy, people are going to need help. Joe Biden would make sure those people get the help they need to deal with their bills.”
The testing fiasco is a hindsight argument, as no one could have foreseen the need for so many tests. It also highlighted the ineptitude of the federal government.
As for directing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Guard to provide emergency hospitals, Trump announced just that on Sunday. One might say Trump followed Biden’s – or Klain’s – advice from Saturday, but Trump had already been working on this issue before announcing it was done on Sunday.
During a press conference Sunday evening, Trump announced that he had directed FEMA to set up emergency hospitals in California, New York, and Washington, the three states hit hardest by the coronavirus. California is set to receive eight large medical stations with 2,000 beds, New York will receive four large medical stations with 1,000 beds, and Washington will receive three large medical stations and four small medical stations with 1,000 beds total. Each state will also receive thousands of respirators, surgical masks, face shields, coveralls, and gloves. The New York Post reported that Trump said during his press conference that “186,416 N95 respirators, 444,000 O-78 surgical masks, 84,560 face shields, 68,944 surgical masks, 352 coverall, 245,486 gloves have been sent to New York, which had at least 15,000 cases of the virus, with 10,000 in the five boroughs.”
In addition to the emergency hospitals, Trump also announced that he was activating two U.S. Navy hospital ships – one on each coast – to assist with coronavirus medical needs.
Trump had been working already to find cures and vaccines for the coronavirus. He allowed a malaria drug that had shown promise at combating the disease to be used for patients, something the left-leaning media criticized.
Further, Trump has been working with congress to pass relief bills for Americans who need help during the quarantine. Senate Democrats blocked a bill that would have provided relief checks to Americans over the coming weeks.
Biden’s coronavirus briefings were supposed to be a way to show how he would handle the crisis better than Trump, but it just illustrated how Trump is already doing everything the federal government can possibly do during a crisis like this.