Something tells me that pointing fingers at Joe Biden over Ebola, a pandemic that never hit the U.S., is not going to do much for getting Donald Trump off the hook for mishandling COVID-19. And that’s not counting the fact that Kilmeade seems to have mixed up Ebola with H1N1.
July 1, 2020

On Tuesday, Fox News trotted out Brian Kilmeade to pre-spin Biden’s remarks about Trump’s botched coronavirus response. Host Melissa Francis ran through a devastating preview:

FRANCIS: [Biden] will say that Trump has called himself of war-time president but is surrendering to the virus... Trump is outright ignoring the crisis-golfing, holding rallies, and telling a suffering country that he is the victim. Trump is admitting he ordered the slowed down of testing, because the truth about the extent of this deadly outbreak makes him look bad.

Francis turned to Kilmeade for a response. “Do you think that that’s a good strategy for former Vice President Biden?” she asked.

It’s very telling that Kilmeade didn’t say one word in defense of Trump. Instead, he went after Biden for, among other things, the Obama administration’s response to Ebola.

KILMEADE: Joe Biden's got a terrible track record when it comes to Ebola. Remember he was in charge of it and he said if you sneeze on the plane it goes right through the whole plane? They almost destroyed the airline industry, had to scramble off and by noon that day they had to walk back his comments. So, he's going to open himself open to the way he handled it, because Barack Obama put him in charge of that.

Kilmeade seems to have relied on a Politico deep dive into the Obama administration’s handling of the H1N1 epidemic as well as Ebola – and he got a lot of his facts wrong. Biden’s airplane remark was about H1N1, for one thing, not Ebola. For another, the Obama administration’s problems dealing with H1N1 came just three months into its first term, while the new administration was also dealing with the Great Recession. Trump, on the other hand is more than three years into his term.

Also, Biden wasn’t in charge of the administration’s response to either but he was an important player. The Politico article recounts some missteps and bumps but in the end, H1N1 disaster was averted and much of that was due to Biden’s management skills. “Biden, despite his early messaging problems, played a role in mobilizing the administration and ensuring enough resources were devoted to defeating the pandemic,” Politico reported about H1N1. He did similar work defeating Ebola, Politico noted.

Not surprisingly, Kilmeade didn’t want to compare statistics. But I will: The U.S. coronavirus death total is more than 127,000, with no end in sight. About 12,000 Americans died of H1N1. Two died of Ebola.

Instead, Kilmeade went on to complain about the “oppressive atmosphere” in New York and Michigan, which just happen to have Democratic governors, while the “laissez-faire attitude in Florida," with a Republican governor, has caused “a little bit of a turmoil now.”

Actually, that “little bit of turmoil” is more like an explosion of new cases.

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