The emerging GOP political strategy for 2020 appears to be to blame China for the catastrophic pandemic and economic depression that has devastated our country. Trump and the GOP are desperately trying to spin away mass illness, mass death and mass unemployment. The corollary of the GOP’s propaganda campaign is to falsely accuse Democrats of being “soft” on China.
On a national level, the Trump campaign has lied about both the Obama-Biden Administration’s China policies and the Biden family’s (non-existent) business ties to China. Closer to home, Representative Jeff Fortenberry launched an equally disingenuous attack on Kate Bolz. (It’s evident that the long time CD01 incumbent is worried about his electoral prospects.)
Bolz fired back : “It is disappointing that a multi-term congressman has turned to D.C.-style attack ads this early. A congressman should be talking about the issues of the day, including health care, support for Nebraska agriculture and recovery from the corona virus pandemic. Why isn’t he talking about his own record?”
Fortenberry and the other members of the Nebraska Congressional delegation don’t want to talk about their own records because they have enthusiastically supported and enabled the failed policies of the Trump Administration. One of Trump’s biggest failures (out of many) has been his sorry record of appeasement of Communist China.
Ben Sasse has enabled Trump’s deference to China by echoing these same RNC/Fox News talking points since the Senate was briefed on the threat posed by the corona virus back on January 24. In the crucial six weeks that followed that briefing, Sasse only addressed the pandemic in the context of blaming China. Nebraska’s junior Senator did nothing to warn his constituents about the crisis. Moreover, Sasse used these same partisan talking points in his bizarre and widely panned commencement address to the Fremont High School class of 2020.
The reality is that Trump himself has been soft on China. Between early January and mid-March, Trump believed China (and Fox News) — rather than the U.S. intelligence agencies — that the pandemic was under control and didn’t pose a threat to the American people. Trump’s naive belief in Communist Chinese propaganda has badly hurt the American people.
Let’s take a look at the Trump record on China. We can’t count on the mainstream media to do it for us. GOP propaganda relies heavily upon amnesia and our duty as Democrats is to refresh memories.
During that crucial period between early January and mid-March, Trump repeatedly praised China for its failed effort to prevent a pandemic:
Jan. 24, Twitter:
“China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!”
Feb. 7, Remarks at North Carolina Opportunity Now Summit in Charlotte, N.C.:
“I just spoke to President Xi last night, and, you know, we’re working on the — the problem, the virus. It’s a — it’s a very tough situation. But I think he’s going to handle it. I think he’s handled it really well.”
Feb. 10, Fox Business interview:
“I think China is very, you know, professionally run in the sense that they have everything under control,” Trump said. “I really believe they are going to have it under control fairly soon. You know in April, supposedly, it dies with the hotter weather.”
While Trump was lavishing praise on the communist regime in China, his Administration authorized the shipment of more than 2 million respirator masks, 11,000 protective suits and 280,000 pairs of rubber gloves to Communist China on February 2. Two days later, Secretary of State Pompeo praised the non-profit groups that donated the valuable PPE to China.
According to the Washington Post: “U.S. manufacturers shipped millions of dollars’ worth of face masks and other protective medical equipment to China in January and February with encouragement from the federal government. The move underscores the Trump administration’s failure to recognize and prepare for the growing pandemic threat.
In those two months, the value of protective masks and related items exported from the United States to China grew more than 1,000 percent compared with the same time last year — from $1.4 million to about $17.6 million, according to a Post analysis of customs categories which, according to research by Public Citizen, contain key PPE. Similarly, shipments of ventilators and protective garments jumped by triple digits.”
The American people have been badly hurt by the former TV reality star’s misplaced faith in Communist China. Trump’s incompetence and naivete has been supported and enabled by Nebraska’s Congressional delegation since he took office. Nebraska’s members of Congress have rubber stamped Trump’s failed policies and — with the exception of a few sad tweets Sasse — have refused to criticize him. (Since he began his re-election bid, Sasse has ceased criticizing Trump.) Fischer, Fortenberry, Bacon and Smith even signed a pledge to never disagree with Trump.
Trump and the D.C. Republicans didn’t cause the pandemic but they made it worse, much worse. The United States has approximately 4% of the world’s population but we currently account for 28% of all Covid-19 deaths. The U.S. also has the industrial world’s highest unemployment rate — by a fairly significant margin. Unemployment in the U.S. is currently around 20%. In contrast, the unemployment rate in Germany is 5.8%.
It is time for all Democrats to pledge to vote blue no matter who this November. The Democratic Party is the only check and balance on a radicalized GOP. United we are strong! United we will win!