The Travel Ban
President Donald Trump imposed the China travel ban before the first COVID case spread within the US, on January 31st of 2020.
The Trump Administration denied entry to foreign nationals who were recently in China and screened American citizens who arrived from China - asking them to quarantine for 14 days.
While this happened, a vast majority of the media and opposing politicians attacked Trump for closing travel down. Joe Biden, who even as of November 2020 has yet to actually say what he would have done differently then Trump when handling COVID, called the travel ban "xenophobic", while the NYTimes claimed the ban was "unjust".
At this time, the World Health Organization had claimed that restricting travel was not needed.
Current COVID Statistics
As of writing this, the US had a fatality ratio of 3.3%, and there were 23 major countries doing much worse than the US including Canada and the UK. Since writing this, it's come to light that many cases classified as COVID cases and COVID deaths weren't actually related to COVID, or caused by COVID. The mortality rate of COVID currently sits below that of the seasonal flu.
One of the most-effective aspects of the Trump Administration's response to COVID-19 has been Operation Warp Speed, the effort to move a vaccine to the market.
At Operation Warp Speed's brisk pace, a vaccine may be ready for some groups this year and become more widespread in 2021 (Update, this is the case, with multiple vaccines now becoming available and ready). This would be an extraordinary achievement. The White House should defend this process and take credit for it.
The pace of progress toward developing a safe and effective COVID vaccine has been unprecedented.
Saving the Economy During a Crisis
"America did a surprisingly good job, containing the hardship and collateral damage from the pandemic much more effectively than cynics, myself included, expected. The Federal Reserve helped avert a financial meltdown. March Congress passed, and Trump signed, the Cares Act, a huge spending bill that in important ways was just what America needed. This expansion of aid to the unemployed did double duty. It alleviated hardship, letting laid-off workers [due to COVID] continue to pay rent and put food on the table"
- Paul Krugman (A Trump Critic)
Sources: Register Guard
State Governments Share Responsibility
The United States is a federalist nation. The Constitution designates specific powers to the federal government - like the power to regulate commerce and declare war - and the 10th amendment designates the remainder of powers to the states.
Governors are in charge of statewide policies like like downs and mask mandates.
As a result, governors have been tasked with coordinating their state's lockdowns and reopening, since they have the power to issue shelter-in-place directives, and statewide mandates, like mask-wearing. Trump's not a fascist after all...only a fascist would supersede the Constitution and act as if his power granted him the right to dictate all state-based decisions.
Sources: USA Today
Varying State Responses Explain Death-Tolls
One specific example is New York's butchering of the COVID response and Andrew Cuomo's terrible response to COVID.
Mr. Cuomo decreed on March 25th that:
"No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to [a nursing home]" because of virus diagnosis.
He then prohibited homes "from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested" for the virus before admission.
Sources: WSJ, Andrew Cuomo & Nursing Homes
The Death Toll In Democratic Districts
The places hit hardest by the COVID outbreak, which have relatively large shares of ethic and racial monitories as well as residents living in densely populated urban and suburban areas - are almost all represented by Congressional Democrats.
As of late May, nearly a quarter of all deaths in the United States attributed to COVID have been in just 12 Congressional Districts - all located in NYC and resented by Democrats in Congress.
Of the 44 hardest-hit Congressional Districts - the top 10% in terms of deaths - 41 are represented by Democrats, while three are represented by Republicans.
Sources: Pew Research
Would Biden Have Done a Better Job?
If it has been as readily as COVID, the H1N1 handling by the Obama-Biden admin would have been catastrophic.
Former Biden Chief of Staff in 2019 had the following to say:
"We did every possible thing wrong. Sixty million Americans got H1N1 in that period of time, and it's just purely a fortuity that isn't one of the great mass-casualty events in American history.
[It] had nothing to do with us doing anything right; just had to do with luck. If anyone thinks that can't happen again, they don't have to go back to 1918, just go back to 2009, 2010. Imagine a virus with a different lethality, and you can just do the math"