The Corner

Elections

No, Joe, the U.S. Isn’t the Worst Country on Coronavirus

Former Vice President Joe Biden accepts the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination during a speech delivered for the 2020 Democratic National Convention from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del., August 20, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s well-delivered acceptance speech was packed with whoppers, and one of the most misleading was his assertion that the United States had “by far the worst performance of any nation on Earth” when it came to coronavirus.

For one thing, there are a number of nations that have experienced higher fatality rates than the United States, including Belgium, Britain, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Chile, and Brazil. (All of them, incidentally, have some form of government-run health care.)

Then there are developing nations that probably don’t have an accurate count of death totals and authoritarian nations like China — whose mendacity helped unleashed the virus on the world — that are almost surely lying. Then there are still-mysterious reasons for why some nations experience lower fatality rates despite high numbers of infections.

Moreover, we’re not a dictatorship, nor do we have a pliable population willing to lock down society forever or shut down elections — as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently did in New Zealand; a nation so admired by liberals in this country.

For four days, Democrats hit Donald Trump for both failing to stop coronavirus and for the economic fallout from state lockdowns. Biden hasn’t explained how Democrats would have rescued the economy and stopped COVID, much less offered any specifics on how he plans on stopping more cases moving forward — other than arguing for a national mask mandate, which he has no power to decree or enforce. Indeed, Democrats have spent four days hammering Republicans for the ferociousness of the COVID outbreak when, in fact, the only states that failed to flatten the curve are liberal strongholds in Northeast.

Now, many of countries that the media was praising are seeing new spikes. It’s clear that there is no escaping this thing. It’s well within reason for Democrats to be critical of Trump’s handling of certain aspects of the response, but this notion that Democrats would have been able repel the virus just like Ebola, is a fantasy.

David Harsanyi is a senior writer for National Review and the author of First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History with the Gun

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