Photo of Donald Trump

Campaign Press Release - FACT: The Evidence Proves Joe Biden Was Behind the Curve on the Coronavirus

September 29, 2020

Statements and actions from Biden and his coronavirus advisors debunk the false claim that Biden was ahead of the curve on the virus.

Joe Biden likes to claim he was ahead of the curve on the coronavirus and that President Trump should have listened to his advice.

Biden's criticism is directly contradicted by what Biden's own coronavirus advisors and Biden himself said and didn't say in the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic. Biden's own coronavirus timeline proves he was not "ahead of the curve" of anything:

  • Biden's January op-ed was not a specific warning about the coronavirus and did not detail any sort of plan of action.

  • Biden did not mention the coronavirus at all for three weeks during the month of February.

  • Biden held in-person campaign events throughout February and into early March with no social distancing.

  • Biden did not say he would wear a mask until April 5, after President Trump and the coronavirus task force released guidelines recommending wearing them.

  • Biden's campaign can't point to a single statement from him in February about the need for social distancing, invoking the Defense Production Act, increasing production of PPE or ventilators, setting up temporary hospitals, or implementing travel restrictions.

  • Biden has falsely claimed he called early on for using the Defense Production Act, building hospitals, not trusting China, and getting U.S. experts into China.

  • Biden was not ahead of the curve on coronavirus, even calling President Trump's lifesaving travel restrictions "hysterical xenophobia" on January 30.

  • Biden called President Trump's China travel restrictions "hysterical xenophobia" and refused to endorse them until early April, more than two months after it was announced.

In addition, Biden's own top coronavirus advisors repeatedly downplayed the virus in January and February - the same time period Biden claims he was ahead of the curve:

  • January 27 - Top Biden advisor Ron Klain said, "I think what you'd have to say about China is, it's been more transparent and more candid than it has been during past outbreaks."

  • January 28 - Top Biden advisor Ron Klain said, "I wouldn't [ban Chinese travelers from arriving in the U.S.]. I think that's premature."

  • January 30 – Biden Public Health Advisory Committee member Dr. Zeke Emanuel says, "Everyone in America should take a very big breath, slow down, and stop panicking and being hysterical. We are having a little too much histrionics on this... And people should remember not to panic... And the best thing we have is the seasonality. It's going to go down as spring comes up."

  • February 6 - Biden Public Health Advisory Committee member Dr. Irwin Redlener said, "Yes, there is uncertainty, and the headlines are dramatic. But right now, the chances of any of us or anyone we know ever getting a severe, potentially lethal form of the Wuhan virus is negligible."

  • February 7 - Biden Public Health Advisory Committee member Lisa Monaco said, "The good news thus far is that the coronavirus appears to be less lethal than its viral cousin SARS was in 2002 and far less lethal than Ebola was in 2014."

  • February 11 - Top Biden advisor Ron Klain said, "A serious epidemic – now, the coronavirus may be that, it may not be that. The evidence suggests it's probably not that."

  • February 11 - Top Biden advisor Ron Klain said, "Obviously the administration can't do nothing. Indeed, they are far from doing nothing."

  • February 13 - Top Biden advisor Ron Klain said, "We don't have a COVID-19 epidemic in the US but we are starting to see a fear epidemic. Kudos to [Mayor Bill de Blasio] (and others) for standing against that." He was encouraging people to go shopping or out to eat in Chinatown.

  • February 20 - Biden Public Health Advisory Committee member Dr. Zeke Emanuel said, "many of the experts are saying, well the warm weather is going to come and, just like with the flu, the coronavirus is going to go down and may move into the Southern Hemisphere."

  • February 20 - Biden Public Health Advisory Committee member Dr. Zeke Emanuel said, "Healthy young people do not seem to be at very high risk; if they get it, they typically get a mild case... In that regard it sort of behaves like the flu. A lot of us get the flu, but serious cases that cause mortality tend to be focused on the elderly and those with other chronic diseases."

  • February 20 - Biden Public Health Advisory Committee member Dr. Zeke Emanuel said, "People recognized that this is a serious public health problem requiring serious attention and that it could become a much more serious health issue. But, at the moment, most people are thinking that there may be a bit of an overreaction by many, maybe even our own country. If you look at the numbers dispassionately, there are just over 1,000 cases outside of China. Half of them are on that cruise ship in Japan. So, considering the world's population of more than 7 billion people, that's not a lot."

  • February 27 - Top Biden advisor Ron Klain said, "Here's one more thing everyone should do. They should, tonight, go down to Chinatown in their city and buy dinner or go shopping there. What we see inevitably, what we're seeing already, is ... people staying away out of needless fears about coronavirus."

  • February 29 - Biden Public Health Advisory Committee member Dr. Zeke Emanuel said, "So, the public, running out and getting a mask is not going to help."

Donald J. Trump, Campaign Press Release - FACT: The Evidence Proves Joe Biden Was Behind the Curve on the Coronavirus Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/344009

Simple Search of Our Archives