It was inevitable that the Left’s never-ending quest to oust Donald Trump would lead them to compare his handling of the coronavirus outbreak to Barack Obama’s handling of Ebola. That comparison came on Friday courtesy of Boston Public Radio (WGBH).
To mount its case that Orange Man Bad, Black Man Good, the station interviewed Bina Venkataraman, chief policy advisor to Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Venkataraman hit the ground running. “It’s hard to overstate the contrast,” she said. “For one, you had a president who actually accepted and cultivated scientific advice.”
Ah, yes: The president who informed us tediously often that the science on global warming (later rechristened “climate change” when warming was shown to be inaccurate) is “settled.” He also spoke frequently of the “scientific consensus” — another term never used by scientists.
Venkataraman castigated Trump for failing to engage with world leaders to “contain” COVID-19 “in the multiple places in the world it is, so that we could think about better tracking it, understanding its mortality rate and seeing how it evolves and emerges over time.” She stopped short of explaining how that might be accomplished when the country where the virus first occurred, China, refuses to acknowledge that fact, insisting instead that the U.S. brought the virus to Asia.
There are other glaring differences between the crisis Obama faced and the current one. When the Ebola epidemic broke out in 2014, the disease had been known of for 38 years. Inroads into treatment and containment had already been made. COVID-19, in contrast, is a brand new and poorly understood viral agent.
Let’s not forget, moreover, that Obama’s “open door” policy paved the way for 350 refugees from Congo who arrived in San Antonio by way of Ecuador even as the epidemic raged in their home country.
Perhaps it’s carrying coals to Newcastle, but the show aired following Trump’s declaration of a national emergency and the news that his administration and the House had reached an agreement on a coronavirus relief package that would make $50 billion available. You might expect in the interests of fairness that Venkataraman would have mentioned that. Then again, sheis now the editorial page editor of The Boston Globe, so maybe not.