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National Review

Lying in Biden messages about COVID

After the campaign in which Joe Biden expressed absolute confidence in his ability to end, or at least curb the damage from the coronavirus pandemic, his administration’s handling of the pandemic left much to be desired. Rewind to last fall. Biden was making speeches about how while trusting vaccines in general, he did not trust Donald Trump, and thus was skeptical of coronavirus vaccines in particular. Biden’s deputy, then Senator Kamala Harris, said she would be reluctant to take a vaccine that appeared during Trump’s term. When pressed over whether to do so if approved by Dr. Anthony Fauci and other reputable health authorities, she redoubled the matter, saying, “They will be muzzled; they will be suppressed.” By December, it was clear that vaccines were, in fact, close to Food and Drug Administration approval, and that by the time Biden and Harris took office at the helm of the executive branch, distribution would be well underway. Biden received the Pfizer vaccine in the middle of the month, and Harris got it before the end of the year. It was right to protect the principles of the incoming administration. But it remains that Biden and Harris, without foundation, undermined confidence in a medical miracle in their own political interest and then jumped to the front of the big row for it. After receiving the vaccine, Biden moved to the White House with a mandate to control the epidemic. He announced his plan for a national vaccination: give 100 million rounds by his 100th day in office. This was a dishonest public relations ploy. During Biden’s inauguration week, the average number of vaccinations in the United States reached 983,000 vaccinations per day, which meant the administration was setting itself a benchmark it could really be sure of meeting. Naturally, the public noticed, and almost immediately Biden had to increase his goal: He would now aim to have an average of 1.5 million vaccines per day at the end of his first 100 days. We have already reached that higher goal, and not because of the new efforts of the Biden administration. As Jim Geraghty of the National Review stated, the Biden administration’s vaccination plan includes new federal sites, but there are no more vaccine doses. This is not an opportunity to expand vaccination efforts – there are already plenty of places where people can be vaccinated – but it is a bureaucratic hurdle that has made things more difficult for states, some of which were unaware that additional doses would not be made available at the new sites. Even worse, yesterday’s Morning Jolt indicated that there is still a big gap between the number of vaccines that Pfizer and Moderna offer and the number of vaccines actually being taken: As of this morning, according to the New York Times, Moderna and Pfizer have done. More than 70 million doses were shipped to the states, and somehow the states only got 52.8 million of those shots in people’s arms. Bloomberg’s chart has a slightly better figure, showing that the states gave 54.6 million doses, of roughly the same total. This leaves between 15.4 to 17.2 million doses either while in transit or sitting on shelves somewhere. The country vaccinates about 1.67 million people daily according to the Times data, 1.69 million daily according to Bloomberg Chart. Not great. Likewise, the Biden administration lacked rules in its approach to reopening schools. White House Press Secretary Gene Saki announced last week that his goal is to open 51 percent of schools “at least one day a week”. This goal has the same problem with targeted vaccination: it has already been achieved and exceeded. About 64 percent of school districts were already providing some kind of personal instruction when Saki spoke. The goal, given the enormous costs of virtual education for students, should be to open up the remaining 36 percent and re-open partially back to full time. To some extent, Biden took a stunningly slow Psake goal back during an event in CNN Town Hall on Tuesday, saying, “I think many of them are.” [will be open] Five days a week. The target would be five days a week, and Psaki’s statement described a “mistake”. However, the questions remain: If it was just a mistake, why did it take a week for it to be corrected? And why is the patch so vague that it leaves room for deception? Exactly how many “number” is the Biden administration? Biden’s prediction game is a symptom of a bigger problem: He never had a plan for the handling of the pandemic that he said did. His claim in his campaign season was that he had always done an amazing feat that had more to do with tone and messages than politics. To cover up the absence of tangible changes that were on the table, the new administration tried to flood the region with goals that had already been achieved and then described their achievement as achievements. Deception has many forms, and the Biden administration has proven to be no more outspoken than its predecessors, even if its deception has sometimes been more subtle.

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