What Joe Biden doesn't have to do right now
Joe Biden has not been loudly beating up on President Donald Trump for his pathetic performance during the coronavirus crisis. The pandemic has already killed over 80,000 Americans and cratered the economy. And the United States has become an object of international pity.
"Why is Biden sitting at home?" chronically anxious Democrats ask.
Actually, Biden doesn't have to do much talking right now. The coronavirus numbers are doing the talking for him. Biden's rise in key presidential polls suggests that the American people are listening.
The public seems to understand the need for balance between restarting the economy and avoiding more mass death -- about which Trump is just fomenting more craziness.
News cameras can't keep their lenses off Trump-inspired agitators in front of state houses. And if the number of anti-lockdown, anti-distancing, face maskless protesters rises from 65 to 132, newscasters excitedly proclaim that the angry crowds are "growing."
More reliable numbers leave a different impression. A recent poll found lower approval ratings for governors who are rushing to reopen their states and higher ones for those acting cautiously.
Older Americans favored Trump in 2016. But polls show this important voting bloc moving decidedly toward Biden. A new Marquette University poll has voters over 60 in the swing state of Wisconsin supporting Biden over Trump by an astounding 18 points.
Why the change? Older people are most vulnerable to the virus. They cannot be pleased by casual talk of accepting many more deaths in return for economic revival -- much less the murmuring about the advantages of culling a population heavily dependent on government benefits.
Now young children are being hospitalized for a COVID-related rash. A few have died, and parents are scared.
Some numbers speak of the tragedy unleashed by Trump's early denial of and then flabby response to this threat. Other countries have been hit by the disease, but few have suffered as we have.