It's a disease. It's a "novel" disease in that it's very new and popped up relatively suddenly. Yes, it's bad. But guess what -- shit happens.
Naturally, Joe Biden blames Donald Trump for "not doing enough" to fight it.
Among other things, Biden says he would have imposed -- and if elected will impose -- a "national mask mandate." Leaving aside the fact that the president of the United States has no such legal power, let's look at the record.
Between 2010 and 2017 -- roughly the time covered by policies implemented by the Obama administration, in which Biden served as vice-president -- seasonal flu killed nearly a quarter million Americans.
Did the Obama administration impose national mask mandates to hopefully reduce that death toll? No.
Has Joe Biden made any claim to have gone to President Obama asking for such mandates? No.
Year in and year out, seasonal influenza kills tens of thousands of Americans, as it has done for at least a century.
There's nothing new or novel about it. We know it's coming, every year. We know it kills tens of thousands, every year.
Neither regular Americans nor politicians lose their shit over it, and presidents don't get blamed for it. If businesses or schools or what have you shut down, they do so on a local basis as the situation seems to require, not on a large scale dictated by panic and political opportunism.
We do what we can, and we accept that in the real world we can't save every life from every disease.
If anything, Trump over-reacted to COVID-19 with his international travel bans, invocation of war communism (the "Defense Production Act"), etc.
Trump has been more proactive versus a novel disease than Joe Biden ever was toward a known annual threat to the public's health -- a threat usually at least ten times as deadly as the 9/11 attacks -- in nearly half a century as a national-level political decision maker.