Joe Biden has had a gaffe-filled week in his return to the spotlight after being oddly invisible the previous week amid the coronavirus pandemic, with his hastily arranged comeback blitz driving an onslaught of negative publicity.
“Over the past 48 hours, he has shown up several times — in his own live-streamed statement, on ‘The View,’ on MSNBC and CNN. It did not go well,” Fourth Watch editor Steve Krakauer wrote. “Look, I think we as a society should respect our elders. But there’s just something wrong with Joe Biden.”
It started Monday with widely panned remarks on the coronavirus, featuring the 2020 Democratic front-runner appearing to lose his train of thought when his teleprompter malfunctioned.
The livestream began with Biden touching his face despite ongoing warnings not to do that during the coronavirus pandemic—but this would a reoccurring blunder for the former vice president.
Biden then attempted to detail his plan to fight the coronavirus crisis, but appeared to lose track of his place on the teleprompter and signaled to his staff that there was something wrong, before going off on an uncomfortable ad-lib.
“And, in addition to that, in addition to that we have to make sure that we, we are in a position that we are, well met me go the second thing, I’ve spoken enough on that,” Biden said.
Biden was back at it on Tuesday, first with an appearance on “The View,” and he touched his face so many times that social media guru Caleb Hull put together a compilation.
Biden wasn’t only criticized for touching his face on “The View,” as he was also accused of giving an incoherent answer when co-host Sara Haines asked if businesses should reopen in the near future.
“We have to take care of the cure, that will make the problem worse, no matter what,” Biden responded, sparking confusion and criticism on social media.
Conservative strategist Chris Barron compared Biden’s recent media appearances to “Monty Python” skits.
“It’s truly incomprehensible how completely confused and befuddled he seems. The only chance Joe Biden has is if he is quarantined for the next six months,” Barron told Fox News.
Even far-left activist Shaun King was surprised by what he saw.
“I repeatedly said that it was unthinkable that @JoeBiden was not on television,” King wrote. “I change my mind. I now understand why they didn’t put him on TV.”
Later in the day Biden appeared on CNN and was lectured by anchor Jake Tapper about how to properly cough during an on-air interview.
Biden was discussing the latest on combating the pandemic from his home when it was interrupted by a cough.
“Excuse me,” Biden said after he coughed into his hand.
“You know, you’re supposed to cough into your elbow,” Tapper told the former vice president as he himself demonstrated with his elbow. “I learned that, actually, covering your White House.”
“Actually, that’s true,” Biden conceded. “But fortunately, I’m alone in my home, but that’s OK. I agree, you’re right.”
The CNN anchor, however, doubled down on the proper etiquette lesson.
“It’s kinda just old school to do it with your hand,” Tapper added while demonstrating with his elbow again. “Do it into your elbow.”
The most uncomfortable moment of the week for Biden was arguably an appearance on MSNBC when he appeared to lose his train of thought, again, and even apologized for it during an interview with Nicolle Wallace.
“Why doesn’t [Trump] just act like a president? That’s a stupid way to say it… I really wish he. Sorry,” Biden said as Wallace urged him to finish making his point.
“Oh, ah, probably best I don’t,” Biden responded.
Biden also made Wallace awkwardly smile when he compared Trump to a yo-yo before interrupting himself.
“I shouldn’t have said it that way,” Biden said.
By Tuesday evening, montages of Biden’s bloopers began to circulate on social media.
By Wednesday morning the Internet was filled with negative headlines about the Democratic presidential hopeful. The Daily Caller accused him of “pushing misinformation” about the coronavirus and Deadline wrote, “Joe Biden Gaffe Alert: Stuns ‘The View’ By Claiming Coronavirus Cure Will Make The Problem Worse.”
“Some Democrats have privately told Biden that he has to improve,” the Washington Post reported.
The Los Angeles Times wrote that Biden is “struggling to find a message that gets him back on voters’ radar,” while The Federalist wrote that Biden “seems to have finally given up on sounding articulate.”
The Atlantic’s Alex Wagner took things even further, writing a piece simply headlined, “Stay Alive, Joe Biden.”
“Democrats need little from the front-runner beyond his corporeal presence,” Wagner’s article states directly in the subhead.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.
Battling Coronavirus, Moldova Targets Unwanted Media 'Opinion' – Balkan Insight
A short-lived order for media in Moldova to refrain from printing or broadcasting ‘opinion’ and to convey only the position of authorities during a state of emergency imposed to aid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has set alarm bells ringing in the former Soviet republic.
The decree was issued on March 24 by Dragos Vicol, president of Moldova’s Audiovisual Council, CCA, the country’s chief media regulatory body, but it was met with a storm of criticism from journalists and media associations.
“Journalists will unilaterally renounce formulating their own opinion or other arbitrary opinions in reflecting on topics concerning the COVID-19 pandemic,” the order read.
The following day, Vicol tried to defend the order, saying it referred only to “unqualified opinion”. The media, he told the TVR broadcaster, should get their information from the World Health Organisation, WHO-approved sites, the government and the health ministry, “not from persons who bear no responsibility.”
China state media reports 19 people killed in forest fire – CTV News
Nineteen people have died while fighting a raging forest fire in southwestern China and hundreds of reinforcements were sent to fight the blaze and evacuate nearby residents, officials and state media reported Tuesday.
The area threatened by the fire in Sichuan province is thinly populated, but there was no estimate on how many people were leaving the evacuation zone. State media have described villages, a school, a chemical plant and other places as under threat.
It wasn’t exactly clear when the deaths occurred, but an information officer in the city of Xichang was cited as saying the fire started on a farm Monday afternoon and quickly spread to nearby mountains due to strong winds. It said one of those killed was a guide and the rest were firefighters.
An emergency evacuation was initiated, and more than 300 professional firefighters and another 700 militiamen were sent to help, while Xinhua said another 885 firefighters from other cities in Sichuan were being deployed to Xichang, along with 142 fire engines, six remote water supply systems and extensive firefighting equipment. It said drones would be used to monitor the fire’s progress.
Along with fighting the flames and evacuating residents, those force have also been deployed to protect key industrial infrastructure.
Almost exactly a year ago in the same area, a blaze high in the rugged forested mountains killed 30 people, 27 of them firefighters and three helpers.
That was China’s worst death toll among firefighters since 2015, when an explosion at a chemical warehouse in the port of Tianjin killed 173 people, most of them firefighters and other first responders.
Like many countries, China has seen a greater number of more deadly forest fires as a result of climate change, habitat destruction and human encroachment into formerly wild areas. Weak industrial safety standards and enforcement has also led to frequent deadly accidents.
Letter: Media needs to press for analysis of decisions made about COVID-19 – MorinvilleNews.com
We are finally hearing numbers of people who have recovered.
This is hopefully giving cautious hope to many.
I am interested in the numbers that are stated as “community contact” versus travel related. As this pandemic did not originate in North America, at some point they are all travel related.
I would like to see the media pressing questions as to the analysis of decisions made.
Especially the new cases.
Can sickness, and deaths, be traced to decisions to return Canadians? Are any traced to the people who were flown to the military base in Ontario and then released?
Were people passed through airline and airport screenings who then proved to be sources, after it was clear, especially in Italy, that the pandemic was escalating?
Families, and the governments, are making decisions in uncharted, emotional times.
We will face this again in the future.
I would like assurances that there are analysis structures in place to improve the decision making processes for the future.
On the economic front as well.
Editor’s note: Readers are “finally” hearing about the number of people recovered because those numbers are “finally” being included in the daily update from the Chief Medical Officer of Health. As the CMO indicated, previously there was no administrative process in place to determine accurately who had recovered. With that process in place, we are now being given daily updates on recovery numbers.
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