What if Obama were president now?

It’s a fair question, given the criticism directed at Trump in this viral election year. The short answer is, we’d have more American coronavirus deaths.

Here’s why.

The infection rate in America is much lower than in most developed countries. In America, it’s currently about 400 cases per million population. In Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Germany and France, it’s 1,500, 1,600, 1600, 700 and 600, respectively.

(Yes, I’m aware that, to Hillary Clinton’s apparent delight, the total number of cases is now highest in America. But that’s because even though the infection rate in America is low, the total population of America is much higher than most other countries. Sorry, Hillary, but America is still doing relatively well.)

It’s not just the infection rate that’s much lower in America. In addition, the death rate is way lower. In America, it’s currently seven per million. In Italy, Spain, Switzerland and France, it’s 166, 128, 31 and 35, respectively. (Germany compares well with America on the death rate, at five per million.)

Experts agree that one reason America has been hit relatively lightly is that America banned flights from China early and then also banned foreign visitors from Europe early.

Those early bans didn’t just delay the arrival of the virus to American shores, but could be decisive in beating it. They bought us time to develop treatments, formulate plans and manufacture equipment like respirators and face masks that the Obama administration had depleted and never restocked. And perhaps critically, the travel bans bought us time for warm weather to arrive.

Meanwhile, Europe refused to ban flights from China. In hard-hit Italy, they even made a show of “hug a Chinese” day, as if a display of racial tolerance for Chinese visitors would persuade the virus infecting them not to transmit to Italians.

Even after the virus ran amok in Italy, the French refused to cancel soccer matches with Italian teams visiting France along with thousands of their Italian fans.  The open borders of the EU were left wide open – to the virus.

At one point, the French scoffed at the idea of cancelling the Paris Fashion Show.  That was thousands of deaths ago, and they ultimately did cancel the show.

Simply put, the Europeans didn’t take the virus seriously early on, and then they let their fashion consciousness, sports obsessions and moral vanity dictate their medical response.

Which is exactly what Obama would have done.

It’s inconceivable that Obama would have banned foreign flights into the U.S.  He delighted in pandering to foreigners, to the point that he frequently apologized overseas for what he perceived as American arrogance and racism.

The fact that the virus originated in China would have sealed our fate. Like the Europeans, Obama would have bent over backwards and forwards to make a show of racial tolerance.

If you have any doubt, look at the rambling ruminations of Obama’s Vice President, current presidential candidate Joe Biden. In response to Trump’s ban of foreigners flying from Europe, Biden called Trump “xenophobic.”

In response to Trump’s earlier ban on flights from China, Biden said: “We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering.”

Biden likes that word “xenophobia.” This from a guy who can’t put together a pre-recorded speech even with the aid of a teleprompter.

It turned out that Trump’s travel bans were exactly the right move from a science perspective. Science doesn’t yield to political correctness, nor does it yield to election year demagoguing, nor does it yield to Joe Biden’s xenophobia-philia.

Speaking of vice presidents, Trump named his, Mike Pence, to be the Chair of the White House Task Force on Coronavirus. Pence has converted skeptics and now even the Democrats praise his engaged and level-headed performance.

If Obama were still president, would he have named his own Vice President, Joe Biden, to that position? If so, does anyone seriously think Biden would have been up to the task?

But here’s one thing that would be better if Obama were president now. We would have much less hysteria and panic. The media would be downplaying the seriousness of the epidemic while fawning over Obama’s cool handling of it, right down to getting thrills up their legs while admiring the perfect crease in his suit pants.

Granted, I have some gripes about Trump’s handling of the crisis. For example, it’s not productive or presidential to be baited into twitter-wars with state governors or cafeteria food fights with rodeo clowns masquerading as news reporters.

But people are package deals. In times of crisis, we can hardly complain that a bold leader lacks genteel refinement. Over the past month, the inimitable package that we call Donald Trump has outperformed his predecessor and clearly saved lives.

28 thoughts on “What if Obama were president now?

  1. Excellent observations so now could you send them to Pelosi? Breitbart article says she’s considering an investigation of Trump response to the virus. I get that Dems don’t agree with or like Trump but this level of hatred is astounding and revelatory. Stay safe.

  2. And this speculation is helpful…how? Isn’t this “politicizing?” Are there any heroic efforts to transform ski resorts into ppe manufacturers/assemblers/hospitals/clinics?

    • It’s helpful in drawing out beings like you to put themselves on display as counterexamples for the rest of us.

      The politicization in the essay above is an atom compared to the Democrat-generated universe of hysteria and abuse.

    • It’s helpful in drawing out beings like you to put themselves on display as counterexamples for the rest of us.
      The politicization in the essay above is an atom compared to the Democrat-generated universe of hysteria and abuse.

    • Because the left is constantly criticizing Trump and putting forth reasoned speculation about Obama puts Trump’s performance into context.

      • “Reasoned speculation.” Your wordplay is all you have. It’s pure Left-wing bias and mendacity, as we have been witnessing since you began wailing the night Hillary lost, after outspending Trump 2 to 1. Had the figures been the reverse, you’d have squealed “Trump bought the election!” Well Bloomberg couldn’t so…..

    • Given that The Aspen Times fired Glenn as a regular columnist, I’d say the times aren’t a-changin’ fast enough.

  3. 99% of COVID19 virus transmission is through surface contamination then hand to face transfer. WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY AND KEEP YOUR HANDS AWAY FROM YOUR MOUTH,EYES,NOSE, especially before you eat.

      • Actually the source is the CDC. I work at a VA hospital and they tell you two things. 1) Wear your PPE and 2) Wash your hands frequently

  4. Great expose’, I particularly like your description “cafeteria food fights with rodeo clowns masquerading as news reporters”. Fox in their televising of President Trump’s press briefings is paning on the news media people asking their in many cases snot nose dumb questions. Seeing what these “xxxx” look like is illuminating; rodeo clowns is actually to endearing a term,

  5. Saw Hilllary’s inept Twitter comment earlier..she never lets a crisis go to waste. Sadly, she will remain forefront till her toes turn blue.. Great article Glenn….

  6. Dr. Beaton, Great analysis. Can I add a future analysis/prediction? Trump should/will force (back channels, of course) China to apologize and cancel some of the debt they own, US and others, in repayment for this. If they don’t, unilaterally cancel all the US debt and start a Marshall Plan to rebuild. Maybe they will learn their lesson.

  7. Great analysis, but BHO couldn’t have been president now because he already served two terms.

    How about doing the same analysis on if Hillary had won? Maybe give the same consideration she gave Benghazi?

    Yikes!

  8. We rely on you, Glenn, for analysis of all of the numbers that are flying around about this maybe-invented hysteria, some optimistic, some not so, and we accept your interpretation easily. Thank you.
    On the other hand, we do enjoy, contrary to your ideas on the subject, the food fights that Trump engages in, and consider them to be not only not a distraction from the work at hand, but rather a necessary and welcome come-uppance to the no-good, dirty, filthy, sick, s 0 b, jackass people in the no-good, dirty, filthy, sick, s 0 b, jackass, so-called “reporting” business, if you know what I mean–we cannot call them journalists.
    Now, does that come-uppance work? Not after once or twice being derided by Trump, but, we ask, where has champion jackass Little Jimmy Acosta been recently? Certainly not featured hectoring Trump. We suspect that he is over in the corner of his rented apartment having sex with himself. And, heck, what’s wrong with that?–it’s better than bothering decent, red-blood Americans [dog whistle] with his irritating, impertinent, irrational, and idiotic nonsense?

    YAY, BEATON!

    YAY, TRUMP!

  9. Pingback: What if Obama were president now? | the Aspen beat – Wince and Nod

  10. “…it’s not productive or presidential to be baited into twitter-wars with … rodeo clowns masquerading as news reporters.”

    Oh, I think it’s one of the better things he’s doing. These morons need to be called out. Their behavior in intolerable and needs to have light shed upon it.

  11. I agree absolutely. Obama was so feckless. I held my nose when I voted for Trump but not voting would’ve been a vote for Hillary who was both corrupt and inept. Honestly, can you imagine how bad things would be if Biden were President?! I thank God for Trump’s intuitiveness, level-headedness, and energy. I can live with a bull in a china shop right now. Love your column.

  12. I’m sure all your trump fans will eat up this nonsense which is exactly what it is. You have lost your way. Trump is an absolute imbecile who is such a pathological liar he cannot keep the same story straight for a single day.

  13. Interesting perspective but Obama set up a Pandemic Response team which trained and prepared for an outbreak. Upon entering office the current president fired all of those people and didn’t replace them. (They did train Trump’s original senior cabinet members, but all but Pence have since been fired or quit.)

    I disagree with this article because Obama had the foresight to prepare and have a team ready for such a pandemic. It wouldn’t have been Biden in charge as there was an established team.

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