Sep 30, 2020

Biden won on the most important crisis facing the US,

Peter Bergen: Biden won on the most important crisis facing the US The coronavirus is the worst public health crisis the country has faced in a century, yet in the presidential debate Tuesday night President Donald Trump didn't make even a pro forma statement acknowledging the pain and the suffering of the more than 200,000 American families who have had loved ones die of Covid-19. Nor did the President make any kind of empathetic gesture to the 7 million Americans who have become infected with the coronavirus, many of whom will face health complications that may not be lethal, but that will still leave them seriously ill. Instead, during the debate, Trump, as he has done repeatedly before, gave himself a giant pat on the back for the "great job" his administration has done combating Covid-19. As Biden was quick to point out, the US has 4% of the world's population but more than 20% of the reported deaths from the virus. During the debate, Trump presented no plan for what he would actually do about the coronavirus should he be elected to a second term, other than to shout some slogans about Biden wanting to close the country down and the US being "weeks away from a vaccine," while top scientists in his own administration say that any potential vaccine likely won't be widely available until summer 2021. Biden jumped on Trump about his past delusional thinking about the coronavirus: That it would be gone by Easter; that taking bleach might help eliminate the virus and that warm weather would chase the virus away. The coronavirus, of course, didn't take a summer vacation. Instead, in states such as Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming over the past week there have been record one-day rises in the rates of coronavirus infection, according to Reuters. So, whoever assumes the presidency on January 20, 2021 will have to deal with the arguably the most complex crisis facing the US since World War II. Trump certainly made no case that he was the right guy for dealing with this crisis on the debate stage on Tuesday night. Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst, a vice president at New America and a professor of practice at Arizona State University. He is senior editor of the Coronavirus Daily Brief and author of the book "Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos."