- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Now that Sen. Bernie Sanders is out of the presidential race, all eyes turn to the presumptive Democratic candidate Joseph R. Biden, soon to reveal his choice of a running mate with much fanfare.

Press reports have already presented New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a viable prospect after he demonstrated edgy leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, delivered daily. Yes, Mr. Biden previously promised he would have a female running mate — but the coronavirus has changed many rock solid circumstances, and could change this one as well.

Mr. Cuomo, however, also has been suggested in the presidential role. “If Cuomo’s going to run, that’s fine. I wouldn’t mind running against Andrew,” President Trump recently told Fox News.

Dick Morris, a former Clinton adviser, believes that it’s “perfectly possible for Cuomo to replace Biden” as a write-in hopeful, particularly since some state primary elections have been postponed. It is also notable that a Rasmussen reports poll of Democratic voters released this week found that Mr. Biden and Mr. Cuomo tied in a hypothetical race for president, winning 46% and 45% of the vote, respectively.

So would it be Biden/Cuomo 2020 — or Cuomo/Biden 2020. Yes, it is legal for Mr. Biden to repeat his role as vice president. Meanwhile, Here’s the most recent impressions from the ever-present media:

“Andrew Cuomo for president? Joe Biden could make it happen” (Philadelphia Inquirer); “Draft Cuomo 2020 groundswell emerges amid the New York governor’s coronavirus response” (ABC News); “Andrew Cuomo supporters quietly angling him for 2020 vice president gig” (New York Post); “Cuomo supporters reportedly pushing NY governor as Biden running mate” (Fox News); “What the ‘Cuomo 2020’ fantasy says about 2020 reality” (New York Times); “‘President Cuomo’ is new daydream for those fretting over Biden” (Bloomberg); and “Unloved by progressives, New York’s Andrew Cuomo has the spotlight now” (The Guardian).


What is the pedigree of the coronavirus? It is an alarming topic. Still, a notable portion of the public — particularly conservatives — believes that the virus emerged from a laboratory rather than nature.

A plurality of Americans (43%) say the new coronavirus most likely came about naturally.

But three-out-of-10 — a total of 29% — believe the virus came out of a laboratory: 23% saying it was developed intentionally in a lab while 6% saying it emerged accidentally from same. A quarter of the respondents say they aren’t sure where the virus originated.

Then there’s a partisan divide: 37% of Republicans say the virus came from a lab, compared to 21% of Democrats. Among conservative Republicans, 39% say the coronavirus came out of a lab — “the largest share of any ideological group,” the analysis noted.

The poll of 8,914 U.S. adults, conducted March 10-16 and released Wednesday.


CNN primetime host Anderson Cooper recently said President Trump was “hijacking” the coronavirus task force briefings, attempting to use the event as a reelection platform or as a way to bully the media, among other things.

“The briefings are certainly being hijacked, but not by the president. The president can’t hijack his own briefing. It’s his briefing. But Cooper’s assertion tells you everything you need to know about the real problem here,” writes talk radio host Larry O’Connor in Townhall.com.

“Cooper and his peers think these briefings are theirs. They think the briefing room is for them. They think they get to make the rules and if the president or his staff don’t adhere to them, they are out of line,” says Mr. O’Connor, who explains the media tricks at work here.

“They’re asking questions that are designed to drive a political wedge between Trump and the doctors on his task force. They’re designed to deliver a contentious exchange between the president and a reporter that will then provide 40-second video fodder for the prime time news cycle,” he observes.


As far as the southwestern U.S. border wall is concerned, it’s business as usual, coronavirus or not.

“The wall is continuing to be built. Construction teams are self-contained and are continuing to work,” reported acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli.

He reveals that 151 miles of the wall have been complete, 199 miles are under construction and 403 miles are currently in pre-construction phase. So far, the crews have gone through 203,000 tons of steel and 308,000 cubic yards of concrete.


John Daniel Davidson, political editor for The Federalist, is also a senior fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation. He now reports that Mexico is struggling to quell the coronavirus pandemic, and that the virus is about to “explode” in that nation, citing numbers from Johns Hopkins University and other sources.

“All of this suggests the virus is already widespread in Mexican border communities, whose health care systems are ill-equipped to handle even a small outbreak. Based on what we know now, it looks like Mexico is about to get hit with much more than that. When it does, American officials will need to be ready to take unilateral action to secure the border,” writes Mr. Davidson in The Federalist.

“Mexico’s endemically corrupt and incompetent officialdom has been an unreliable partner on border security for decades, even in the best of times. The coronavirus pandemic is about to expose the full measure — and terrible cost — of that corruption and incompetence,” he warns.


80% of U.S. voters have watched the daily White House briefings on coronavirus; 85% of Republicans, 71% of independents and 81% of Democrats agree.

20% overall have seen none of the briefings; 15% of Republicans, 29% of independents and 19% of Democrats agree.

71% overall feel more informed by the briefings; 89% of Republicans, 69% of independents and 54% of Democrats agree.

25% feel less informed by the briefings; 7% of Republicans, 26% of independents and 42% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Morning Consult/Politico poll of 1,990 registered U.S. voters conducted April 3-5.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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