I don’t think he meant this the way it came out — I hope he didn’t — but Democrats noticed it and immediately began circulating the video. The clip below got five million views overnight; the DNC has since posted its own version. I’m guessing we’ll see it again in ads next month and maybe in a Joe Biden attack line at Tuesday’s debate.
Part of the reason for Biden’s surprisingly strong polling among seniors, I suspect, is the sense that Trump and his acolytes have behaved at times as if thousands of dead grandmas and grandpas is an unfortunate but acceptable risk to incur in reopening the country for business. (Sometimes it’s not even implied. Sometimes that point is made explicitly.) Which is weird, because one of the most powerful and durable criticisms of Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic in New York is that he didn’t take the risk of infection to seniors in nursing homes seriously enough. Any rhetoric that treats the virus as no big deal because “only” the tens of millions of Americans 65 or over face a meaningful risk of dying from it is rhetoric that’s begging to be showcased on Florida television.
It’s also deeply weird to be talking about how “virtually nobody” has been affected on a day when the country was recording its 200,000th dead from COVID. A Twitter pal observed this afternoon that that’s one of the few things the White House has been prescient about during the pandemic — back in June their model projected that the U.S. might see 200,000 fatalities from the disease before October. They were spot on. Yet here’s Trump still “downplaying” it, to borrow a term he used with Bob Woodward. Watch, then read on.