I remember (maybe you do too) the recent presidential campaign, when candidate Joe Biden rather forcefully declared, “I’m not gonna shut down the country, I’m gonna shut down the virus.” Wow, what a catchy line. I wonder who wrote that tough-sounding bit of political arrogance. Biden actually made that statement on numerous occasions. It sounded great.
Yet throughout those many months of presidential debates and occasional meet-ups in parking lots, and even a rare interaction with the press, I do not recall even one instance where anyone asked him, “Mr. Vice President, what is your plan to accomplish this goal?” Not once. No, never so much as a hint as to how Biden would shut down the virus. Nothing was ever explained, at least that I heard.
Now, in his very first week in office, President Biden has completely changed his tune. This past Friday, January 22, President Biden said, “If we fail to act, there will be a wave of evictions and foreclosures in the coming months as this pandemic rages on, because there’s nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months.”
A few days later, on January 26, Biden apparently overstated his vaccine roll-out. He made the statement that every American who wants the vaccine would have one this spring. However, later that same day, White House press secretary Jen Psaki seemed to correct the president. She said, “What the president’s goal is, is ensuring that there’s greater availability in the spring. He will push his team… This is his focus every single day… But the fact is, is every American is not going to be eligible this spring.”
So, the man who was so critical of President Trump during the campaign, and who declared on multiple occasions that if he were to be elected, he would, “shut down the virus,” has given mixed messages on what he said was his highest priority once he entered the oval office. This is not the best way to begin an administration.
Meanwhile, if one is carefully looking and listening, nearly all fifty states are giving reports that seem rather encouraging. In the Change in 7-Day Average Cases for January 28 (covidtracking.com), every state in the US is down in the number of cases, except for Alabama (up 13%). At this point, it seems safe to say that whatever plan Biden has to shut down the virus has not materialized. Instead, the likely explanation for the above-referenced report is that the virus is weakening, even if there is more work to be done.
In spite of this encouraging report, President Biden believes, “there’s nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months.” Well Mr. President, if there’s nothing we can do, then just let life get back to normal. Let people open their businesses. Let people go to church. Let kids get back to school. Let people visit their elderly relatives. Let people make their own choices and trust them to do the right thing. Now there’s a novel idea!
© Jeffery J. Michaels / Plain English Publications 2021
(Quotations allowed with attribution to this blog)
Biden’s ‘nothing we can do’ comments on coronavirus trajectory cause stir. FoxNews.com. January 25, 2021.
Psaki walks back Biden comments on COVID-19 vaccine availability, says won’t be widely available by spring. FoxNews.com. January 26. 2021.
covidtracking.com. January 28, 2021.