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Biden checkmates Trump on Covid

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During an NBC town hall, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden directly criticized President Trump for downplaying the Covid-19 pandemic after the president contracted the coronavirus.

Posted: Oct 6, 2020 6:21 PM
Updated: Oct 6, 2020 6:21 PM

A little more than an hour after President Trump, infected with the coronavirus, made a rash and reckless return to the White House, Democratic challenger Joe Biden made clear at a televised NBC town hall why he is leading Trump in every national poll and in most top battleground states as well.

The leading issue in the November 3 election is the federal response to Covid-19. Biden has checkmated Trump on the issue.

Even as the President's close allies and advisers turn up sick after ignoring social distancing and mask-wearing best practices -- including his campaign manager, press secretary and three Republican senators -- Trump has chosen to double down on a failed strategy of downplaying the importance of the pandemic, tweeting, "Don't be afraid of Covid. Don't let it dominate your life."

Americans have seen the effects of the pandemic, which has killed more than 210,000 people, shut down entire school systems, triggered a global food crisis and resulted in the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression. And they have the good sense to be afraid.

Trump's wildly irresponsible advice -- "don't let it dominate your life" -- plays right into Biden's strategy of offering the nation a calm, sensible and presidential alternative by simply acknowledging reality. At a time when the nation's leader seems lost in a fog of claims that he might be immune to the virus and unfounded predictions that the pandemic would simply disappear, Biden gets a big head start by following basic public health precautions and urging voters to do the same.

Thus, shortly after Trump ginned up a media spectacle of checking himself out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and posing, maskless, on a balcony overlooking the South Lawn of the White House, Biden was imploring voters to take the deadly pandemic seriously. "I hope nobody walks away thinking it's not a problem," he said of Trump's tweet. "It's a serious problem."

And when asked about Trump contracting Covid-19 after months of sowing confusion about the virus, Biden surely must have got heads nodding all over America by simply acknowledging the truth. "210,000 have died already. And the expectation is, if nothing changes, another 200,000 dead by the end of the year," he said. "That's 400,000 -- God forbid it that happens -- more than were killed in one year in America than four years in World War II."

Biden's coronavirus plan -- which includes requiring social distancing and mask-wearing on all federal property, making testing universally available and following the advice of scientists -- is simple common sense. But compared to Trump's wild carelessness, common sense sounds like deep wisdom.

NBC anchor Lester Holt, who hosted the event, said that Trump, like Biden, has been invited to talk with voters in a town hall, but the Trump campaign has not agreed to participate. That speaks volumes about what's likely to happen if Trump is well enough for the candidates meet for their next official debate, which will be a town hall.

Biden excels at the format, using jokes and personal anecdotes to connect with everyday voters. It's a world away from Trump's preferred campaign style of flying into a city and holding forth to hollering crowds at an arena or airport hangar.

Trump uses his speeches to lavish praise on himself, while Biden talks about his working-class upbringing and his wife's career as a public school teacher. Trump never misses an opportunity to slash at enemies -- Democrats, looters, immigrants, radicals -- while Biden talks hopefully about unifying the nation.

"The country is ready to be united, I believe," he told a voter at the town hall. "We have to just change the way we talk to each other. Politics has become so mean and so ugly. We've gotta get rid of that. We gotta just start talking to each other like we respect each other."

At a town hall, it won't be easy for Trump to interrupt and talk over voters, the way he did with Biden and the moderator in their first debate. Confronted with the real needs of ordinary Americans, Trump will be forced into the uncomfortable position of explaining why he has denied and denigrated scientific knowledge at every stage of the pandemic.

He'll also have to answer the question on everybody's mind: with hundreds of people dying every day, how can we trust you to keep the country safe from Covid when you couldn't even protect yourself from it?

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 234080

Reported Deaths: 3459
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson30620491
Mobile19306358
Tuscaloosa12501148
Madison12410146
Montgomery12040232
Shelby980576
Baldwin826984
Lee753964
Morgan618247
Calhoun5997113
Etowah590564
Marshall581953
Houston507038
DeKalb463535
Cullman412636
Limestone404544
St. Clair398455
Elmore393961
Lauderdale382953
Walker349096
Talladega335942
Colbert296341
Jackson291924
Blount276336
Autauga263439
Franklin244833
Coffee233415
Dale226654
Dallas220231
Russell21803
Chilton216937
Covington212533
Escambia194431
Tallapoosa169290
Chambers168048
Pike155514
Clarke155419
Marion134535
Winston123723
Lawrence122436
Geneva11748
Marengo116924
Barbour116110
Pickens115318
Bibb114217
Butler113741
Randolph99821
Cherokee98924
Hale91631
Washington90018
Clay89423
Fayette84416
Henry8426
Lowndes78729
Monroe76811
Cleburne74414
Crenshaw70330
Macon70020
Bullock69019
Conecuh66814
Perry6686
Lamar6267
Wilcox62418
Sumter55322
Choctaw41713
Greene40217
Coosa3074
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 344550

Reported Deaths: 4301
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby45771637
Davidson40820407
Knox17590140
Rutherford16907150
Hamilton15861136
Williamson1066473
Sumner9141134
Wilson705574
Out of TN692847
Montgomery622381
Sullivan609389
Putnam574379
Washington5596100
Maury554958
Blount512356
Madison5108105
Bradley483233
Sevier468131
Unassigned437714
Robertson357351
Tipton348736
Hamblen331557
Dyer308649
Gibson301161
Greene285971
Anderson273725
Dickson272827
Coffee263041
Bedford254428
Carter253453
Obion252247
Lawrence250732
Cumberland242335
McMinn234355
Warren227018
Hardeman221037
Roane220424
Loudon218418
Jefferson215331
Fayette214437
Weakley207734
Lauderdale200321
Monroe199042
Franklin193632
Trousdale189412
Hawkins181434
Wayne180810
Henderson178730
Macon176427
Hardin171825
White167517
Marshall165317
Carroll164732
Haywood159629
Rhea157130
Cocke154928
Overton150534
Cheatham149416
Campbell147621
Lincoln146313
Henry144617
Smith138319
Johnson137621
McNairy137632
Giles135643
Fentress117119
Lake11515
Bledsoe11425
Hickman111517
Crockett111025
DeKalb108920
Marion103917
Chester98819
Scott9587
Grainger92315
Decatur91512
Unicoi78525
Benton76114
Claiborne7559
Grundy74214
Lewis71514
Cannon7072
Union6915
Morgan6726
Jackson66010
Humphreys6537
Polk63214
Houston57319
Stewart55414
Clay52518
Sequatchie4965
Meigs46112
Perry46020
Moore3692
Pickett36612
Van Buren3422
Hancock1473

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