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I must confess to being confused by this analysis from my friend S. E. Cupp:

“You would have lost far more people.”

That’s what President Trump said to Joe Biden, as the vice president tried to paint the tragic picture of a country that has lost more than 205,000 Americans to Covid-19.

“How many of you are in a situation where,” Biden asked, “you lost your mom or dad and you couldn’t even speak to them, you had to have a nurse holding the phone up so you could say goodbye…?”

To which Trump said — I’ll repeat it — “You would have lost far more people.”

In a night of damning lines, to me, it was one of the worst of the night. And it made me sick to my stomach.

I loathed last night’s debate and I abhorred Trump’s conduct throughout. But, substantively, it is unclear to me why it is acceptable for Joe Biden to suggest that the death count is Trump’s fault, and that had he, Joe Biden, been president, it would have been lower, but outré for Donald Trump to suggest that the death count is not his fault, and that had Joe Biden been president it would have been higher (because Biden wouldn’t have shut down most travel from China in January). What am I missing? The details are different, but they’re exactly the same argument.


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