The most inane of the many fatuous arguments raging over the administration’s handling of the coronavirus is the debate about whether the Democrats distracted President Trump with the impeachment effort when he would otherwise have been raising the drawbridge earlier. This seems to have begun as Republicans other than the president asserted that the Democrats had no standing to complain about a slow start to grappling with the problem because they had wasted six weeks with a completely spurious impeachment case. Then the Democrats, or rather the Trump-haters (because the poisonous weed of Never Trump still lurks in the fringes of the Republican garden), leapt upon the fact that Trump told a press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic that, after some consideration, he did not think that the attempt to remove him from office had retarded the administration’s response to the virus. His enemies ululated with glee that he had thrown away his one excuse for his otherwise supposedly inexcusable incompetence in dealing with the virus.
This is surreal idiocy, even from the most febrile Trump-haters. The impeachment was an outrage and a disgrace and an abject failure. The response of the administration to the viral danger was not delayed. The president was infamously accused by Joe Biden of “hysteria and xenophobia” when he stopped direct flights from China on January 31. Prior to that, China was not acknowledging remotely the extent of the epidemic spreading from Wuhan and was claiming that this virus was not transmissible between humans, and every falsehood the Chinese government uttered was ardently praised by the cap-in-hand lackeys of China in the World Health Organization. Neither the president nor his likely opponent this autumn, Joe Biden, had any reason before January 31 to believe that anything like the problem that has emerged was imminent.
Perhaps the person who first evaluated this debate and the politicization of the pandemic in the United States was Trish Regan, late of Fox Business, who saw it on March 9 as another Democratic attempt to impeach the president. She was right from the start and has been let go by Fox Business for her comments. She did not dismiss the gravity of the virus, but accurately said that it was being exploited as another basis for the virtual impeachment of the president. Even punch-drunk Trumpophobics must have figured out that impeachment doesn’t work, but they are bumping hilariously into each other trying to discredit the president’s handling of the public-health crisis. Trish Regan rightly saw that the media and official Democrats were going to attack Trump from every angle on the issue — for dismissing it at first (as they did themselves) and moving too slowly to expand testing facilities (even as Abbott Laboratories brought out an easy and swift testing device), and by claiming the president was an anti-science moron until he assembled a strong professional task force to manage the crisis. They criticized his championship of hydroxychloroquine until New York governor Andrew Cuomo revealed on Monday that he was dispensing it to tens of thousands of New Yorkers with initial success. Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC had already declared that we should “follow the money,” and implied that the president had a financial interest in that drug, a decades-old malaria remedy. This was so grossly defamatory, it could pass as criminal slander if the president wanted to press his rights.
The anti-Trump media were late to realize that when the president took over the televised part of Vice President Pence’s task-force activities, he gained hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of prime-time exposure to show his talents as “war leader,” as he described it, and as showman. Despite a spurious allegation and hostile investigation of improper collusion with Russia in the 2016 election, and then an unfounded impeachment carnival, Trump has amassed a very successful first term in the accomplishment of most of what he promised in taxes, deregulation, immigration, trade, judicial appointments, military procurement and deployment, and reduction of unemployment, poverty, oil imports, and violent crime. Now, as Trish Regan correctly foresaw, the president’s enemies would try anything to hang a Chinese virus on Bad Orange Man. For a long time, they slavishly upheld the criminally negligent conduct of the Chinese government in lying about the coronavirus and its communicability by humans.
She got slightly carried away when claiming that the Democrats were responsible for stock-market losses, and tried to prove it with cuts of the greasy late-night low-life Bill Maher saying he wanted a bad recession “to get rid of Trump.” The country, he explained, “can recover from a recession, but not from Trump.” Stock-market declines were caused by general hysteria, and Wall Street is never long on courage. Maher did Trump a favor by revealing the extent of his self-punitive animus. Rahm Emanuel, along with Bill de Blasio one of the most complete failures as mayor of a large American city since Big Bill Thomson in Chicago in the 1920s brought in the Democrats for 90 years, said the administration “couldn’t organize a one-car parade.”
Trump is somewhat abusing his position with these daily filibusters now, and the country seems to have wearied slightly of his shtick and self-laudatory loquacity. But it is correctly and reasonably appreciative of his handling of a public-health crisis unique in the country’s history. The environment for intelligent discourse is not helped by fearsome fatality rates in Italy, Spain, and France, which are all advanced countries and incite the spectre of panic, or by insane reflections from the World Health Organization, completely discredited by its complicity in China’s misconduct. Their latest blinding aperçu, this week, is the claim that now that the world is on lockdown, health officials must enter homes by force and remove children where there is a fear that they may be infected by their parents. The international health authority has now made a complete circuit of incompetence verging on lunacy: from solidarity with China’s misinformation, to demanding the shutdown of everything, to forced entry to break up families and transport children to non-existent refuges to protect them from their parents.
There are signs that the numbers are turning down in Italy, Spain, and New York. If the American trend is positive in the last half of April, the president will be able to shift from being the custodian of an asocial America to the bell-ringer calling the country cautiously back to work. If he stumbles, his enemies will kill him politically. If he is sure-footed, they will have shot their bolt and will have to face him presiding over a resurgent economy, having led the resolution of a terrifying public-health crisis. The Democrats, after fumbling all the way through the Saul Alinsky dirty-tricks playbook, will go to the electoral gallows led by Joe Biden, exhumed to prevent their party’s destruction at the hands of the mad, ageless, raving Marxist, Bernie Sanders. The (presidential) office is not seeking Biden, and it is well, if noisily, occupied. For Trish Regan, being publicly fired is a badge of honor she will wear gracefully.
Editor’s Note: This article originally identified Trish Regan as a Fox News host. She worked for Fox Business.