Inside the Beltway: As coronavirus fears mount, Democrats get tacky

The U.S. quietly passed a grim mark this week: The coronavirus now has killed more Americans than the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, duly noted by notable news organizations. But none have cited the difference between the Democratic responses to 9/11 and the current coronavirus pandemic.

Following 9/11, Democrats joined Republicans to sing “God Bless America” and then-Sen. Hillary Clinton stepped forward to support President George W. Bush, who had only been in office a few months when the attacks took place, and the world changed. President Trump has not been afforded this courtesy.

High-profile Democrats — very high-profile Democrats, in fact — continue to criticize Mr. Trump and push alarming narratives — such as the untrue notion that the nation’s vital medical supplies have dwindled. Some have tried to bring a “climate denial” dynamic into the picture, or have accused the president of being “sexist.” This is not only improper and counterproductive, it is just downright tacky.

“As recently as a couple of decades ago, even Hillary Clinton possessed enough self-command to support George W. Bush. She knew that to do otherwise in a time of crisis would be seen as a betrayal of American values. This is why President Trump’s approval numbers have been steadily rising. The voters know he is sacrificing his strongest claim on a second term — the economy — for the good of the American people. Even Joe Biden has finally realized that he must be part of the solution to have any credibility. Trump will still win in November because he is taking action while most Democrats take cheap shots. ‘Make America Great Again’ has never meant more than it does now,” writes Spectator columnist David Catron, in a succinct and appropriate summery of the current situation.

PPE OR CPB?



One veteran media critic is not happy that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — CPB — received a tidy $75 million grant from the federal government as a part of the recent CARES Act, passed by Congress to provide economic relief during the coronavirus crisis.

“We believe this was misguided. Just as Amazon, Microsoft, Ford Motor Corporation, and Starbucks have given so generously to help in the fight against COVID-19, so should the CPB give,” wrote Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center, in an open letter to President Trump.

“The CARES Act is already law and the money the government issued to the CPB is unlikely to be returned. Regardless, it is worth noting what this money could have been spent on instead,” he said — noting that the grant could have instead purchased vital personal protection equipment (PPE): 300,000 COVID-19 test kits, 21,428 hospital beds — or even 357,483,318 pairs of medical safety gloves.

“At this point in our country’s history, all of these things are infinitely better uses of taxpayer money than giving it to left-wing outlets like NPR and PBS, both of which attack you and your administration continuously,” Mr. Bozell said, adding that the organization behind public broadcast already has an annual budget of $445 million.

“The CPB produces programs promoting values which many Americans just don’t agree with. The federal government, by funding CPB, is forcing Americans to support values they oppose,” he noted.

DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

There is a marked difference between the way Republicans and Democrats are handling the coronavirus pandemic, according to a sizable new Pew Research Center survey of 11,537 U.S. adults conducted March 19-24 and released Tuesday.

“Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say they feel comfortable proceeding with a variety of activities despite the coronavirus outbreak. For example, 68% of Republicans and people who lean toward the GOP say they would be comfortable visiting with a close friend or family member at their home, compared with 55% of Democrats and Democratic leaners,” the poll analysis reported.

“Along these same lines, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say their lives have changed in a major way as a result of the virus, and that they have been feeling psychological distress,” the analysis said.

The poll reveals that 17% of Republicans report they feel “high” distress over the situation, compared to 30% of Democrats. Another 23% of Republicans report “medium” distress” along with 28% of Democrats. The survey also found that 59% of the Republicans said they had “low” distress over the coronavirus situation, compared to 41% of the Democrats.

“Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say their personal life has changed in a major way as a result of the coronavirus outbreak: About half of Democrats and Democratic leaners (51%) say this, compared with 38% of Republicans and those who lean to the GOP,” the poll analysis said. “These partisan differences remain even after accounting for the fact that Democrats are more likely than Republicans to live in states with a high number of confirmed cases of COVID-19,”

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POLL DU JOUR

• 87% of U.S. adults are closely following news of the coronavirus pandemic; 89% of Republicans 80% of independents and 93% of Democrats agree.

• 42% overall say their main source of news is cable (Fox, CNN, MSNBC) or broadcast news (NBC, CBS, ABC); 48% of Republicans 32% of independents and 48% of Democrats agree.

• 25% overall say social media or the internet is their main source; 22% of Republicans 34% of independents and 19% of Democrats agree.

• 9% overall cite national or local newspapers; 4% of Republicans 7% of independents and 12% of Democrats agree.

• 5% overall cite “other” sources; 2% of Republicans 8% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree.

• 4% cite radio; 4% of Republicans 5% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree.

Source: The Economist/YouGov survey conducted March 29-31.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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