Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Brit Hume on Omicron variant: Politicians' 'cures' for COVID have been worse than the virus

By Fox News Staff | Fox News

In the wake of the new omicron variant, Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume told "The Brian Kilmeade Show" on Monday that since the inception of the coronavirus pandemic, the cures from politicians have been worse than the virus.

BRIT HUME: It looks to me like we're freaking out again and making the same kinds of mistakes that we made the first and second and third time around.

There are ripple effects of that. And this has been the issue from the very beginning of the pandemic. And that is that in our efforts to stamp it out, to stop it in its tracks, which was probably never going to be possible, we undertook all sorts of efforts without ever seriously considering the side effects of our efforts. You know, Trump may have made a lot of mistakes on this, but he was right when he said, you don't want a situation where the cure is worse than the disease. 

When you think of the school days missed by kids, really how much that contributes to continued inequality and educational outcomes that these poor kids who you know, who many of whose parents don't even have a computer in the house or who are struggling to try to be educated in this setting where, you know, they're really not in school, they're really not getting instruction and so on. It's very serious.

You have health outcomes affected by the fact that people missed appointments for screenings and treatment and so on for cancer and other diseases. The supply chain problems we’re having as a consequence of COVID and the restrictions that were placed on travel and with people out of work and so on. So we're going to be feeling the pain from those for a long time.





By Paul Mirengoff | POWERLINE 

President Biden speaks about the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the State Dinning Room of the White House, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Joe Biden has ordered a ban on travel from eight African countries due to the emergence of the latest coronavirus variant. The countries from which Biden is cutting off travel are South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.

When Donald Trump banned travel from China in the early days of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, Biden called the move xenophobic. I suppose that makes Biden’s travel ban racist by similar reckoning.

Speaking of Trump, Biden, and covid, the Wall Street Journal points out that deaths in the U.S. from that virus since Biden was inaugurated exceed the number of deaths that had occurred when, during a 2020 campaign debate, Biden proclaimed: “Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as President of the United States of America.” At the time Biden proposed this disqualifier from holding the presidency, the U.S. had recorded 220,000 covid deaths, according to the Journal. Since inauguration day, it has recorded 350,000. And counting.

The comparison isn’t “apples to apples.” When Biden made his statement during the debate, the pandemic had been raging in the U.S. for about six and a half months. It’s been about ten months since the sad day Biden became president.

On the other hand, we had no vaccine during almost the entirety of Trump’s presidency. We’ve had one — developed and distributed during Trump’s presidency — throughout the time Biden has occupied the Oval Office.

Furthermore, as the Journal reminds us, Biden promised to “shut down the virus, not the country,” and he claimed to have a plan to accomplish this. This was BS.

So was his statement that “if [Trump] had done his job, had done his job from the beginning, all the [220,000] people would still be alive.” Has any presidential candidate ever defamed his opponent so flagrantly on a matter of policy? If so, I don’t recall it.

Here’s another comparison between Trump and Biden on the pandemic — one that’s closer to “apples to apples.” During the debates, Biden slammed Trump’s performance by claiming that Europe had done much better in limiting covid deaths than the U.S. At the time, however, the number of deaths per capita in the U.S. was in line with four major European countries it made sense to compare us with — the UK, Spain, France, and Italy. Like the U.S., these nations had reliable data, large populations, and lots of foreign visitors before travel was restricted.

As Trump’s presidency drew to a close, per capita deaths from the virus in the U.S. were about at about the midpoint of per capita deaths in these countries — nearly identical to the UK, a little lower than Italy and Spain, somewhat higher than France.

What about now? Today, per capita deaths attributed to the virus are higher in the U.S. than in all four of the comparator nations. Currently, the U.S. has recorded 2,393 deaths per capita from the virus. France, Spain, the UK, and Italy come in at 1,814, 1,880, 2,113, and 2,213 respectively.

The U.S., therefore, has lost ground to these four countries in terms of covid deaths under Joe Biden. This, despite the fact that the U.S. (under Trump’s leadership) was considerably faster off the mark than France, Spain, and Italy in getting the vaccine approved and into arms. (The UK, free from EU constraints, was a little faster than the U.S.)

Personally, I don’t think presidents should be judged based, without more, on how many Americans die during a pandemic. But Joe Biden based much of his case for the presidency on precisely this criteria. In both debates with Donald Trump, he led with that case. His pitch was as effective as it was crude.

By Joe Biden’s crude metrics, he has failed abjectly in dealing with the Wuhan coronavirus, both in absolute terms and in comparison to Europe. By his rhetoric, Biden “should not remain as President of the United States of America.”

I’m glad the Wall Street Journal has called Biden out on this. Don’t expect to read about it elsewhere in traditional media.



Media hit for 'sophomoric and ridiculous' take on Biden's travel ban after calling Trump's restrictions racist

By Cortney O'Brien | Fox News 

The area for TSA screening of travelers at JFK airport's Terminal 1 is relatively empty, Friday, March 13, 2020, in New York (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

President Biden imposed a travel ban on several African countries in the wake of the new strain of the coronavirus, the omicron variant, despite calling his predecessor "racist" and  "xenophobic" for imposing his own travel restrictions - a flashback the media has largely ignored. 

In 2017, then-President Trump imposed travel restrictions on six predominantly Muslim countries over concerns of improper vetting. Liberal media often referred to it as the "Muslim ban." When Covid began spreading throughout the world at the beginning of 2020, Trump would then block travel from China and six other countries, including Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania. Biden, a presidential candidate at the time, suggested Trump's actions were "xenophobic."

"We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus," Biden tweeted the day after Trump imposed travel restrictions from China into the U.S. "We need to lead the way with science - not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency."

Biden also referred to Trump's temporary ban on African countries as a "disgrace."

But now as president, Biden now appears to be taking a similar course. The first cases of the omicron variant are expected to have originated in southern Africa. Biden announced on Friday that the U.S. would be restricting travel from South Africa, and seven other countries, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. The ban began on Monday. 

At the time of Trump's travel ban announcement, the media had a meltdown of sorts and suggested it was a racist move. But the tone of this week's headlines suggest they're more understanding of Biden's travel bans.

Juxtaposed CNN pieces on the dueling travel bans showed that the network was much kinder to Biden's more recent restrictions.

The New York Times Opinion page ran a piece titled, "The Racism at the Heart of Trump's ‘Travel Ban'" in February 2020. But this week, the newspaper ran a tamer title, "United States will bar travelers from 8 countries."

Fox News contributor Joe Concha tried to put his finger on why the press is okay with Biden's ban.

"Because Joe Biden’s ban comes from good, decent place in an effort to save lives, while Trump just did it as an excuse to ban people from coming here," Concha told Fox News Digital. "As utterly sophomoric and ridiculous as those arguments are in applying motive, there are actually enough viewers and readers out there willing to believe it."

Biden is "replicating what he himself called racist," "Unfiltered" host Dan Bongino said on Saturday while sounding off on media hypocrisy. Georgia gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones also wondered where the outraged headlines were.

"The legacy media never disappoint," the Media Research Center's Dan Gainor told Fox News Digital. "They continue to embrace their role as public relations staff for the Biden administration. The omicron variant has been identified in at least a dozen countries so far. Nearly all of those weren't included in Biden's list of nations where he blocked travel. The key reason South Africa was blocked is it actually identified the virus. Yet, the press refused to call out Biden in any similar way to what they did to President Donald Trump."

"Leftist journalists continue to obey my rule of media coverage: Everything left is right and everything right is wrong," he concluded.

At her Monday press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed Biden was critical of Trump’s "xenophobic tweet" and not critical of the travel restrictions themselves. Media observers pushed back on that explanation.

Fox News' Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.