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Last week, I wrote a post called “Biden’s covid scorecard is worse than Trump’s.” I caveated it by saying that presidents should not be judged based, without more, on how many Americans die during a pandemic. However, I also noted that Joe Biden based much of his case for the presidency on precisely this criterion.
Employing it, I found that the U.S. has lost ground to the four major European nations it makes most sense to compare our coronavirus deaths with — the UK, Italy, Spain, and France. During the presidential debates, Biden slammed Trump by claiming that Europe had done much better in limiting covid deaths than the U.S. However, at that time and for months thereafter, the number of deaths per capita in the U.S. from the virus was at about the midpoint of those in these four nations. Now, we have the most per capita deaths of any of the four.
When I wrote that post, the Wall Street Journal had also compared the scorecards of Trump and Biden, albeit relying on different data, and found that Biden comes off worse. Apparently others — House Minority Leader McCarthy, Breitbart, and Tucker Carlson — have sounded the same note.
Aaron Blake of the Washington Post sets out to counter it with this analysis. It begins by acknowledging the unfairness of numerically-based attacks, including those by Joe Biden, on Donald Trump’s covid performance. Blake notes that Trump’s critics failed to use per capita data in their analysis and suggests, in any case, that presidents aren’t necessarily responsible for the number of covid deaths.
That’s probably as much fairness as we’ll ever get from the Washington Post on the subject, and it comes, I believe, only because Biden’s scorecard is under fire.
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