The novel coronavirus outbreaking sweeping the nation has ground nearly all aspects of normal life in America to a halt — including political campaigning.
Democrat 2020 hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden is now taking flak for politicizing the COVID-19 pandemic as a means of fundraising for his presidential campaign. Fox News host Sean Hannity slammed Biden over the weekend for placing the blame for the outbreak on President Donald Trump.
“Per usual, Biden is struggling with reality,” Hannity wrote in an op-ed published Sunday.
Capitalizing on the coronavirus
The Fox host noted in his weekend op-ed that Biden has been incessantly critical of the manner in which President Trump has handled the federal government’s response to the ongoing public health crisis. While some of Biden’s critiques of the administration may have some merit, most don’t — and Hannity, for his part, argued that Trump and his team have already taken extraordinary measures to contain the viral contagion.
Those measures, Hannity writes, include issuing travel bans on certain parts of the world, including Europe and China, as well as bringing in the private sector to ramp up the production of vital medical equipment and supplies. Trump has also moved to slim down the federal bureaucracy, cutting red tape and needless regulations wherever possible to help the nation better respond to the pandemic.
But according to Hannity, Biden has blasted Trump every step of the way. The same day that Trump announced he would be banning travel to and from China, “Biden called the president’s response ‘hysterical xenophobia,’ and ‘fear-mongering,'” Hannity noted. “To this day, Biden is STILL against travel bans of any kind — even though Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the bans saved us from untold amounts of suffering.”
Exploiting the outbreak
Hannity went on to remind readers of the Obama–Biden administration’s less-than-ideal response to the H1N1 pandemic that swept the nation in 2009, sickening tens of thousands of Americans and killing at least 13,000.
“Clearly, he’s doesn’t remember his administration’s lackluster response in 2009, or perhaps, he still doesn’t understand the seriousness of a worldwide pandemic,” Hannity wrote of Biden. “Because now, instead of lending support, he’s using this crisis as a political weapon. In fact, his campaign is fundraising off of COVID-19. Yes, Biden is actually trying to raise money in the middle of a pandemic.”
Indeed, it was just a little more than a week ago that Fox News contributor Karl Rove blasted Biden on Hannity’s weeknight Fox program for sending out an email about the coronavirus outbreak that included a fundraising request and an attack on President Trump’s handling of the situation.
“Is there no decency that says, you know what? There are some moments when we shouldn’t be taking things and use them for crass political purposes. He’s using it for prospecting,” Rove lamented, according to Fox.
Politicizing the pandemic
Unfortunately, Biden’s fundraising off of the ongoing crisis will likely continue. A Saturday report from Politico explained that the Biden campaign is in fundraising limbo as his primary competitor Bernie Sanders refuses to throw in the towel.
“Because Sanders won’t quit, Biden can’t fully pivot to the general election,” Politico noted in its Saturday report. “His momentum has effectively been stopped cold.”
And with rallies out the window as state and local governments ban large congregations of people amid the coronavirus outbreak, the struggle seems to be just beginning for the Biden camp. “It’s harder to raise money when there’s no face-to-face meeting and personal contact,” Matt Littman, who is hosting his own fundraiser for Biden online next month, told Politico.
Of course, political campaigns do still need to raise money as the 2020 elections draw near, but weaponizing a deadly disease is just shameful. Uncle Joe needs to find a new fundraising strategy — and fast.