Joe Biden campaign launches new COVID-19 ad attacking Donald Trump
Screen shot from a Joe Biden campaign commercial, "Timeline" showing Donald Trump saying he is working closely with China on the coronavirus outbreak in January.

Donald Trump screen shot
The ad focuses on Trump's early claims that the virus was not a threat.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden‘s campaign is launching a new more than two minute digital commercial in Florida and other battleground states slamming President Donald Trump‘s early responses to the coronavirus crisis.

The ad, “Timeline,” argues the severity of both the public health crisis and the economic crisis are Trump’s fault because of inaction in January and February as he tried to reassure the nation and the stock markets that nothing was wrong.

The ad also spins the current debate over China’s culpability, offering moments in which Trump praised China and supported its statements during the virus’ early days.

“We have an economic crisis because we have a public health crisis. We have a public health crisis because he refused to act,” the ad concludes. “Donald Trump didn’t build a great economy. His failure to lead destroyed one.”

The commercial is running on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube targeting voters in Florida, Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

“Joe Biden publicly warned Donald Trump that he had to act early to protect us from this unprecedented outbreak, and that we couldn’t trust the Chinese government’s word about containment,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said a written statement. “Trump’s own public health and intelligence advisers were telling him the very same things. But he failed us, echoing Chinese Communist Party propaganda and downplaying the threat to preserve short-term stock market gains — and now nearly 80,000 Americans have lost their lives and one in five Americans has filed for unemployment.”

Trump Victory spokesperson Emma Vaughn responded with a statement reading, “President Trump took bold, unprecedented action to stop the spread of coronavirus as soon as the threat was clear, including an ahead-of-the curve travel ban that Joe Biden called xenophobic. While President Trump leads in the White House, Joe Biden offers half-baked political attacks from the safety of his basement. Biden is trying to rewrite history when in reality, his consistent softness on the Chinese Communist Party is a hallmark of his career.”

That theme, of Trump initially supporting China’s statements while Biden urged otherwise, is played out in the first two minutes of the commercial.

The ad begins by citing Washington Post reports that Trump was first warned of the virus in early January. “He ignores it,” a narrator declares, as the commercial cuts to video footage of Trump saying, “we have it totally under control” in January.

The commercial then shows a series of Trump tweets and statements defending China’s statements in January and February.

Then, as the ad reminds, the stock markets begin their late January and early February fall. The ad moves to late February, as the markets continue to crash, showing various administration officials saying the coronavirus outbreak is contained, while the markets plunge again, and Trump continues to reassure in March.

“April turns into May,” the narrator says. “The virus doesn’t disappear, There is no miracle. The cases mount. The death toll grows. More than 33 million Americans lose their jobs due to the pandemic. Unemployment reaches Great Depression-era levels. Donald Trump doesn’t understand.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]

One comment

  • Robert Schaeffer

    May 13, 2020 at 9:10 am

    The message can be simplified: Trump fiddled and lied, so thousands more died!

Comments are closed.


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