Joe Biden Avoids Mentioning ‘Lockdowns’ in Coronavirus Speech

President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 pandemic during a prime-time address from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

President Joe Biden made no mention of lockdowns or shutdowns in his Thursday speech focusing on the coronavirus. Americans experienced a “collective suffering” due to a “pandemic,” he said, without any acknowledgment of government decrees or mandates denying people’s access to their livelihoods and social lives.

The “loss of living” for Americans in 2020 and beyond, Biden claimed, was a function of the coronavirus, not lockdown or shutdown edicts from governors or mayors.

Biden said, “Photos and videos from 2019 feel like they were taken in another era — the last vacation, the last birthday with friends, the last holiday with extended family — while it was different for everyone, we all lost something, a collective suffering, a collective sacrifice.”

The president blamed the virus, not government policies, for Americans being “unable to truly grieve or to heal, [or] even to have a funeral.” He omitted any acknowledgment of government decrees when noting that Americans “died alone” without funeral services conducted by their families and friends.

Lockdowns and shutdowns — including arbitrary government distinctions between “essential” and “nonessential” services — were ignored by Biden as he spoke of job losses and bankruptcies.

“The longest walk any parent can make is up a short flight of stairs to his child’s bedroom to say, ‘I‘m sorry. I lost my job. Can’t be here anymore,’ like my dad told me when he lost his job in Scranton,” Biden said. “So many of you have had to make that same walk this past year. You lost your job. You closed your business. Facing eviction, homelessness, hunger. A loss of control. Maybe, worst of all, the loss of hope.”

Biden concluded his address with a threat that his administration “may have to reinstate restrictions” indefinitely if Americans are insufficiently compliant with regulations ostensibly issued in the interest of public health.

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