The Pandemic Primary
Voters in three states cast presidential primary ballots yesterday amid growing concerns about the coronavirus. While Bernie Sanders attempted to exploit fears of the virus to promote his "Medicare for All" plan during Sunday night's debate, the move fell flat with voters in Arizona, Florida and Illinois.
Joe Biden won all three states by comfortable margins. In Florida, which awarded the most delegates last night, Biden crushed Sanders 62% to 23%.
As a result of Biden's sweeping win yesterday, Politico estimates that he has a commanding lead of approximately 290 delegates in the nominating contest. For Sanders to overtake Biden at this point, he would need to win about 66% of the remaining delegates.
In other news, President Donald Trump secured the GOP nomination last night after winning the Florida primary.
Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), a genuinely moderate pro-life Democrat, lost his primary to a left-wing candidate endorsed by Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. According to Gallup, 29% of Democrats self-identify as "pro-life." But after yesterday's primaries, there may be only one pro-life Democrat left in the House.
And in Pennsylvania, Republican candidates swept three special elections for open seats in the state House of Representatives. While the results maintain the status quo (all three seats were previously held by Republicans), it is worth noting that one race occurred in Bucks County, which Hillary Clinton carried in 2016.
Nevertheless, the coronavirus is having a major impact on our elections. There were reports of chaos at various polling locations (here and here) yesterday as hundreds of volunteer poll workers and even some election officials refused to show up.
Ohio was scheduled to vote yesterday, but Gov. Mike DeWine and state health officials issued an emergency order closing the polls and overruling a judge's decision that the primary should continue. Four other states – Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Maryland – have also postponed their primaries.
Taking On China
On January 31st, the Trump Administration declared a national health emergency and extended its travel ban to China. The political left and its media allies immediately attacked the president. The very same day, Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted that she was calling up legislation (the No Ban Act) to prevent the president from imposing "such biased and bigoted restrictions."
As the nation debates appropriate responses to the coronavirus, the president often brings up his border security efforts and he's right to do so. Here's what we must not forget: China knew as far back as November that it was confronting a virulent outbreak.
From its previous experience, it had to know that it was a coronavirus. China's communist leaders lied to their own people. As the virus spread, they continued to lie to their own people and they made no effort to give necessary information to the rest of the world.
Meanwhile, what was going on from November to January 31st? More than 8,200 Chinese were flying to the United States each and every day. Three million Chinese visit the U.S. every year. Many of them travel through California and Washington state.
When Donald Trump was presented with the evidence of what was happening with the virus, he was the first world leader to institute a serious travel ban. When he did it, he was attacked by the left for being a racist, a bigot, and a xenophobe. And he was attacked by the media again today for referring to the virus from China as a "Chinese virus."
I can only imagine what the Chinese thought watching the left's hysterical reaction. They knew how deadly the virus was. They knew that thousands of Chinese were flying to the U.S. every day, some of whom were obviously sick and bringing the virus to the U.S.
They must have laughed watching the "useful idiots" in the United States condemning Trump rather than communist China for what was happening every day since November.
By the way, new polling shows that 80% of Americans support Trump's travel restrictions. That may explain why Pelosi abandoned her plans to pass the No Ban Act, which 219 House liberals have co-sponsored.
Securing The Border
The Trump Administration is taking additional steps to secure the border as nations around the world scramble to combat the coronavirus. The State Department ordered U.S. embassies to suspend visa services in nations with pending travel advisories. The order affects approximately 100 nations.
In addition, the administration is ordering immigration field offices to close for the rest of the month in order to prevent an outbreak of coronavirus in migrant detention facilities. The move comes as Mexico is facing increasing scrutiny for its lack of action to combat the virus.
Again, it is worth repeating that the Border Patrol apprehended more than 2,000 Chinese nationals attempting to illegally cross the southern border last year.
The Pandemic Primary