For the second time this month, the Biden campaign has been slapped with 'Four Pinocchios' by the Washington Post's fact-checker over false and misleading anti-Trump attacks regarding the administration's Coronavirus response. Several weeks ago, they were caught and scolded for using deceptively-edited footage of the president in an ad to perpetuate the "hoax" hoax:
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee received "Four Pinocchios" for an ad that deceptively edited video of a Trump campaign rally to make it appear that the president called the coronavirus a hoax. In the ad, Trump can be seen saying "coronavirus," followed immediately by "This is their new hoax."...But as the Post noted, the Biden campaign cut out more than 120 words in between those two statements. In his comments, Trump was calling the Democratic politicization of coronavirus a "hoax," not the virus itself. "This is a clear example of deceptive editing," the fact checker said. "It edits out large portions of a video but still presents it as a complete narrative. This effectively skews reality and leaves the viewer to wonder what or who related to coronavirus is, in fact, a hoax?"
Would this violate Twitter's new policy against manipulated video? Answer, via the Free Beacon:
The first tweet Twitter marked as "manipulated" for violating these rules was a video posted by White House director of social media Dan Scavino that implied Biden had mistakenly endorsed Trump in a moment of confusion. According to Twitter, Biden's ad will not marked the same way because the tweet was sent before the policy took effect on March 5.
Now here's the latest four-alarm distortion from Team Biden on the Coronavirus front. Here's the Democratic frontrunner's inaccurate claim about a CDC official being "silenced:"
“All the while, anyone who raised an alarm about this — a red flag — was silenced. Look no further than Dr. Nancy Messonnier, a career official at the Centers for Disease Control who was the first to raise the alarm. … Starting the next day, Dr. Messonnier no longer appeared at public briefings of the White House coronavirus task force. The president and the White House sent a clear message to scientists in the government — there would be a price for speaking out and speaking up.”
And the truth, via WaPo's fact-checker:
At the Feb. 26 news conference, Trump announced that Vice President Pence was taking charge of the task force. (Previously, Azar had run it.) From then on, briefings were held at the White House, not the Department of Health and Human Services. Trump headlines each one. One would presume either the director or deputy director would be onstage with the president, not a lower-ranking official.
Beyond that, notes Ed Morrissey, "Messonnier still briefed reporters on behalf of the CDC for at least the next two weeks, as well as on CDC video updates, such as this one a week prior to [the Biden campaign's] video." This false claim reminds me a bit of the media's apparent obsessions with stirring up dissent between Trump and his top medical experts. It feels like a game to them, which is extraordinarily petty, given the circumstances. Where is Dr. Birx? Did she get sidelined? Oh, she had a fever and was being tested for the virus. Where is Dr. Fauci? Is he on the outs with Trump? Oh:
Fauci is at the task force meeting (working) which is why he’s not at the presser. Sorry to those who assumed he’d been fired or excluded. “He’s a good man,” Trump says, who adds that the reopening timeline will be discussed with him. Calls Fauci’s opinion “very important.”— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) March 23, 2020
There are certainly areas in which the Trump administration, and the president himself, can be fairly criticized on Coronavirus. There's a debate to be had about whether launching political attacks on this subject, in the teeth of the pandemic and economic crisis, is a good look. Biden has clearly decided that attacks are fair game. In light of that, it's sloppy and amateurish to then misfire repeatedly, especially when you're trying to cast yourself as the competent and honest broker in the race. Is he being deliberately dishonest, or is he getting confused again? And the hits just keep on coming:
PolitiFact | Biden falsely says Trump administration rejected WHO coronavirus test kits (that were never offered) https://t.co/XxIaBxRIit— Andy Lancaster (@andylancaster) March 24, 2020
At the moment, the president is receiving majority approval for his handing of the crisis:
The CBS News/YouGov survey released Tuesday found that 53 percent of Americans feel Trump is doing a good job handling the situation, compared to 47 percent who think the opposite. 54 percent are also optimistic about the administration’s ability to handle the situation moving forwards, despite 66 percent saying it was not prepared at the beginning. A Monmouth poll released on Monday revealed 50 percent of those surveyed thought Trump was doing a good job, compared to 45 percent who believed he was doing a bad job.
I'll leave you with this survey -- which shows a national statistical tie between Trump and Biden, featuring nearly an exact tie among independents:
Monmouth: Biden 48, Trump 45.https://t.co/EQkomrZoNT— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) March 24, 2020
And by the way:
In the middle the pandemic, you called Coronavirus the “swine flu,” opposed travel restrictions from global epicenters that experts have credited as helpful, and parroted the CCP’s ‘bigotry’ line on Beijing culpability. https://t.co/XBwvHi4Qtw— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) March 24, 2020