Hoo Wee. Biden Told Some COVID-19 Whoppers During His DNC Speech

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Joe Biden told a lot of whoppers during his acceptance speech at the virtual Democratic National Convention, but his lies and politicization of the COVID-19 pandemic bother me the most.

“5 million Americans infected with COVID-19,” Biden said. “More than 170,000 Americans have died. By far the worst performance of any nation on Earth.”

While there have been 5 million COVID-19 infections, there’s a detail that Biden deliberately omitted from his speech: The United States is testing more than any other country. Greater testing capabilities mean more infections detected. Our testing capabilities ought to be celebrated, but instead, it’s being exploited as a talking point for Democrats.

South Korea’s record on testing was celebrated in the early weeks of the pandemic, but they haven’t been anywhere near the United State’s level of testing in raw numbers or per capita since March.

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Unfortunately, our incredible testing resulted in a huge misconception: that there was a huge spike in infections. But what happens when you adjust our infection level for the level of testing? The chart below is very illuminating:

Infections did experience a bump, but it wasn’t the spike that the media made it out to be. And the number of COVID-19 infections still pales in comparison to the 60.8 million H1N1 infections during the 2009 pandemic while Biden was vice president.

As for COVID-19 deaths, once adjusted for population, here’s how the United States measures up compared to all countries (with a population of a million people or more):

  1. Belgium (873.4 deaths per million)
  2. Peru (838.84)
  3. United Kingdom (622.7)
  4. Spain (616.67)
  5. Italy (586.09)
  6. Sweden (570.06)
  7. Chile (569.75)
  8. Brazil (536.14)
  9. USA (531.53)
  10. Mexico (468.39)

Does that look like “the worst performance of any nation on Earth”? Nope.

But, there’s another caveat. New York State, specifically the New York City area (where the COVID-19 response was horribly botched by Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio, resulting in New York becoming the COVID-19 hotspot of the entire world) skews America’s numbers. If we treat New York as its own country, here’s what happens to the numbers:

  1. New York (1674.62 deaths per million people)
  2. Belgium (873.4)
  3. Peru (838.84)
  4. United Kingdom (622.7)
  5. Spain (616.67)
  6. Italy (586.09)
  7. Sweden (570.06)
  8. Chile (569.75)
  9. Brazil (536.14)
  10. Mexico (468.39)
  11. France (452.56)
  12. Panama (441.48)
  13. USA minus New York (405.96)

When you take the worst-hit states of the Northeast (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and D.C.) and treat them as their own country, the rest of the United States drops down to 18th place.

Biden then promised that if President Trump is reelected that cases and deaths will remain far too high, even though they are both way down from the peak. But what Biden is trying to suggest here is that he has a magic wand that will end the pandemic. But, as Biden’s record shows, the pandemic would have been much worse had he been president.

The H1N1 outbreak originated in Mexico, but the Obama-Biden administration refused to restrict travel with Mexico or close the border, arguing that there was no justification for doing so, and that it would have “no impact or very little” in stopping or slowing the spread of the virus.

Trump proved this theory wrong when he took the bold step of banning travel from China back in January. Biden criticized him for it, calling it racist and xenophobic, but a month later WHO experts conceded that it worked and it saved lives. While countries like Italy and Iran were experiencing catastrophic outbreaks, the United States was not. It wasn’t until April that Joe Biden flip-flopped on the travel ban. It’s easy to figure that, had Joe Biden been president during the pandemic, a travel ban with China (or any country) would have come far too late, if at all.

The H1N1 pandemic was also plagued by vaccine shortages.

The New York Times reported in January 2010 that the Obama administration “predicted in early summer [2009] that it would have 160 million vaccine doses by late October,” but that “it ended up with less than 30 million,” leading to a public outcry and congressional investigations.

This failure undoubtedly cost lives. A study by Purdue University scholars published on October 15, 2009, (before Obama declared the national emergency) determined that the H1N1 vaccine would arrive “too late to help most Americans who will be infected during this flu season.” The study determined that the CDC’s planned vaccination campaign would “likely not have a large effect on the total number of people ultimately infected by the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus.”

Ron Klain, who was Biden’s chief of staff at the time of the pandemic, says it was mere luck that H1N1 wasn’t more deadly.

“It is purely a fortuity that this isn’t one of the great mass casualty events in American history,” Klain said of H1N1 in 2019. “It had nothing to do with us doing anything right. It just had to do with luck. If anyone thinks that this can’t happen again, they don’t have to go back to 1918, they just have to go back to 2009, 2010, and imagine a virus with a different lethality, and you can just do the math on that.”

I’ve done the math.

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H1N1 had a mortality rate of .02 percent. According to the CDC’s latest estimate, the coronavirus has an overall mortality rate of .4 percent for symptomatic cases (or .26 percent if you include asymptomatic cases) meaning that the coronavirus is 13-20 times more deadly than H1N1.

The coronavirus is also much more infectious than H1N1. According to a study from Emerging Infectious Diseases, COVID-19 has a median R0 value (a mathematical term for how contagious a disease is) of 5.7, while H1N1 had an R0 value between 1.4 and 1.6. So, COVID-19 is nearly four times more infectious and 13-20 times more deadly than H1N1. So, yes, Obama and Biden were, as Ron Klain put it, lucky.
If H1N1 were as infectious as the coronavirus and had the same mortality rate as the coronavirus, there would have been 231 million infections (that’s 70 percent of the country) and 600,704 deaths.

This means that despite Biden’s rhetoric, COVID-19 has been handled far better than H1N1.

That part was left out of Biden’s speech.
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Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis

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