If President Trump wants to weather the coronavirus panic, his best way forward is: Make borders, immigration, national sovereignty, and economic nationalism the cornerstones of his re-election campaign. His America First agenda is the best protection against pandemics. Democrats are locked into Open Borders, and can propose nothing but government-run healthcare. They and their Main Stream Media Ministry of Truth hope coronavirus kills a second Trump term. But if Trump stays the course, it will play into his hands.
Before I explain why, let’s stipulate that the latest U.S. stats show that coronavirus is not—yet—the planetary extinction event that the MSM is hyping:
Between April 2009 and April 2010, there were approximately 60.8 million cases, 274,304 hospitalizations, and 12,469 deaths in the United States alone! Globally, it likely infected between 700 million and 1.4 billion people, resulting in 150,000 to 575,000 fatalities. While this loss of life was tragic, more than a decade later, many scarcely remember Swine Flu. The same will hopefully happen with COVID-19.
[Five Reasons You Don't Need to Panic About the COVID-19 Coronavirus, March 3, 2020]
But the MSM has been pushing the panic button:
Funny thing is, last month, at least the Washington Post offered a more sober view similar to Pomeroy’s reality check at Real Clear Science [Get a grippe, America. The flu is a much bigger threat than coronavirus, for now, by Lenny Bernstein, February 1, 2020].
The truth: Despite the manufactured panic, Trump’s response has been more than adequate:
Most important, he has begun to point to the fatal weakness in the Democrats’ position—for example, in his speech at CPAC:
Border security is also health security. In our efforts to keep America safe, my administration has taken the most aggressive action in modern history to control our borders and protect Americans from the coronavirus. [It] came from China.
In the early stages of the foreign outbreak, I ordered sweeping travel restrictions to prevent uncontrolled spread of this disease. … Never done it before. ...
I took a lot of heat, even from my own people. But we did the right thing. The extreme fringes called us “racists” for imposing these critical lifesaving measures. They wanted to let infected people pour into our country. I don’t think they knew how bad it was, in all fairness, but nothing will deter us from protecting the wellbeing of the American people.
My job is to protect Americans and also, very crucially, in this case, to protect Americans’ health. And we’ll do that. And we will do it with vigor.
[Remarks by President Trump at the 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference, WhiteHouse.gov., March 1, 2020. (Emphases added)].
That will resonate on the campaign trail. Americans want to feel secure from foreign threats, viral, military or cultural, and everyone outside the media bubble instinctively knows coronavirus is a symptom of a much more deadly disease: globalism. The antidote is nationalism.
And Trump can do more—much more—and cite COVID-19 as the reason.
He should add China to the travel-ban list and reduce the number of Chinese nationals studying in America. He should ban flights to and from the most affected countries. And he should propose a wide-ranging bill to secure the borders by halting asylum applications and immediately deporting apprehended illegal aliens.
Opposing such measures in the health-crisis climate that the Democrats and their MSM auxiliary created might well be disastrous for them not only in the presidential race, but also down-ballot in pro-Trump congressional districts. They would have to answer for prioritizing illegals, “refugees,” asylum and Open Borders over Americans.
Another smart move Trump must make: Make sure Americans know our supply chains are threatened because of dependence on products made in China, not least antibiotics and other critical drugs that are produced there. “Basically we've outsourced our entire industry to China," retired Brig. Gen. John Adams told NBC News in September. “That is a strategic vulnerability” [U.S. officials worried about Chinese control of American drug supply, by Ken Dilanian and Brenda Breslauer, September 12, 2019].
Then he should DO something about it.
Trump’s top trade adviser Peter Navarro gets it. He told Politico last month that the administration is thinking “strategically about moving our supply chains on shore for our essential medicines so that the American public is safe and the U.S. economy is secure.” In January, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the outbreak could “accelerate the return of jobs to North America” [Break with China? Top Trump aide eyes an opening with coronavirus, by Megan Cassella, February 26, 2020].
In contrast, what do the Democrat candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders propose?
Biden, the likely nominee, wants more money for CDC and NIH, and would work more with China to achieve more transparency. Forget about tighter borders and immigration controls, or ending dependence on Chinese-made goods—not least, again, life-saving drugs [2020 Democrats reveal how they would address the coronavirus outbreak, by Meera Jagannathan, Market Watch, February 28, 2020].
Sanders wants scientists to oversee the response to the virus, and is exploiting it to buttress his socialist health-care plan. While attacking Trump, he too ignores bringing the manufacture of drugs back to the United States [We need scientists, not politicians, in charge of the coronavirus response, by Bernie Sanders, USA Today, March 5, 2020] and flatly says he would not close the border.
Obviously, it isn’t Trump who failed to offer a sensible answer to the virus. He appears tough and resolute and acted quickly to do the obvious: control the borders and block travelers from certain countries. So Americans simply aren’t going to buy the claim that Trump’s measures are “racist” or even insufficient.
But the president must remain firm. As spring approaches, flu season abates and coronavirus wanes, he must hit the Democrat-MSM coalition hard for sowing unnecessary panic, then refusing to budge on immigration, border security, and economic nationalism as the disease spread internationally.
Coronavirus is an opportunity for Trump. He can finger Open Borders and globalist Democrats for the contagion, however mild it turns out to be, then use it to hammer the same America First issues that matter to the Historic American Nation and helped him win the first time.
Coronavirus can be a winning issue for Trump, but only if he stays on message. Question is, will he?
Washington Watcher II [Email him] is an anonymous DC insider.