Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden posted a somber campaign ad on Twitter on Wednesday night that blasted Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic after the United States reached the grim milestone of 200,000 deaths.
“The 200,000 people we’ve lost to COVID-19 weren’t nobodies, Mr. President,” Biden wrote. “They were our parents and grandparents, sons and daughters, friends and co-workers. They were Americans.”
The ad’s message is simple: Covid-19 has killed more Americans than died during World War I, the worst year of the AIDS crisis, the Korean War, the Pearl Harbor attack and the deadliest hurricane to hit the nation.
The pandemic has ravaged the country and left millions without jobs, which Biden has repeatedly argued is a result of a disastrous response by the Trump administration. The president has admitted to The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward that he intentionally downplayed the severity of the virus to avoid causing panic.
The short video shows a clip of Trump at a rally, during which he says covid-19 affects only “elderly people,” then plays repeatedly the audio of him saying the virus “affects virtually nobody.”
The ad claims the pandemic is the fourth-largest mass casualty event in U.S. history — after the 1918 flu pandemic, the Civil War and World War II.
The estimated numbers of deaths in the United States during the 1918 pandemic was about 675,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Department of Veterans Affairs notes there were more than 214,000 in-battle deaths during the Civil War. But under the same estimates, more Americans died in battle during World War II: 291,557.
The 200,000 death toll is, according to the ad, larger than some of the most tragic events in U.S. history, including World War I, in which 53,402 U.S. service members died in battle, and the Korean War, during which 33,739 Americans lost their lives, according to VA.