Joe Biden’s 7-Point Coronavirus Plan Mirrors Trump’s: Provide ‘Guidance,’ Protect Seniors

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 01: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden takes his mask off as he arrives to speak at a get out the vote event at Sharon Baptist Church on November 01, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Biden is campaigning in Philadelphia on Sunday, in the key battleground state of …
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President Joe Biden’s administration is rolling out his seven-point plan to combat the Chinese coronavirus. Trouble is, it fails to drastically differ from the strategy implemented by former President Trump and his White House Coronavirus Task Force, which featured key members such as Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci — a strategy criticized by Democrats across the party for months.

Throughout his campaign, Biden promised to address the Wuhan virus head-on with an aggressive strategy, and his administration has since released a seven-point plan to “beat COVID-19 and get our country back on track.” However, several of the central strategies are those which were already vehemently pursued by the Trump administration.

For example, the Biden administration’s first two points read, “Fix Trump’s testing-and-tracing fiasco to ensure all Americans have access to regular, reliable, and free testing” and “fix personal protective equipment (PPE) problems for good.”

Increasing testing nationwide and providing sufficient PPE were among the first tangible goals pursued by the former administration at the beginning of the pandemic.

Biden’s third goal is more broad, promising to “provide clear, consistent, evidence-based national guidance for how communities should navigate the pandemic — and the resources for schools, small businesses, and families to make it through” — another objective pursued by the Trump administration. Trump’s coronavirus task force once provided near-daily updates to keep the public informed while outlining the latest guidances. Biden’s third objective includes calling on Congress to “pass an emergency package to ensure schools have the additional resources they need to adapt effectively to COVID-19.”

Former President Trump signed two coronavirus relief measures addressing a range of those related issues last year, with the first as far back as March:

Biden’s four remaining points include planning for the “effective, equitable distribution of treatments and vaccines,” protecting older and high-risk Americans, rebuilding and expanding “the defenses that Trump has dismantled to predict, prevent, and mitigate pandemic threats, including those coming from China,” and implementing mask mandates wherever possible — goals that Trump’s coronavirus task force also prioritized. 

Last month, Trump celebrated that experts beat all odds in delivering a “safe and effective” vaccine in a 9-month span — a feat deemed an impossibility by some skeptics.

“This is one of the greatest scientific accomplishments in history. It will save millions of lives and soon end the pandemic once and for all,” Trump said in a December statement marking the FDA’s authorization of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine

“When the China virus invaded our shores, I promised that we would produce a vaccine in record time before the end of the year. They said it couldn’t be done. But with today’s announcement, we have now achieved that goal,” he added.

Following the FDA’s authorization of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, states took on a greater role, as they did with testing, in distributing and administering. While Operation Warp Speed’s coronavirus vaccine rollout came under criticism after it failed to reach its initial goal of administering 20 million shots in December, states have continued to make progress. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) January 20 update, the nation has distributed 35,990,150 vaccines, with 16,525,281 doses administered.

Additionally, most states have some form of a mask mandate, and Biden previously admitted on the campaign trail that, even as president, he would not have the authority to institute a nationwide mask mandate despite his call for 100 days of masking. Trump, however, allowed governors to make their own decisions — one of the reasons Florida, for example, does not have a statewide mask mandate under the leadership of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has faced criticism from the establishment media for focusing on vaccinating seniors across the Sunshine State. As of Wednesday, Florida had administered more than Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) New York.

The similarity of Biden’s plan to Trump’s has not been lost on critics. Former Vice President Mike Pence noted Biden’s plan mirrored Trump’s during the vice presidential debate in October, defending the actions the Trump administration had taken to combat the virus. That included banning travel from China, which key Democrats originally criticized, revamping testing, and increasing medical supplies.

“It looks a little bit like plagiarism, which is something Joe Biden knows a little bit about,” Pence said of Biden’s plan.

The biggest difference in the plans appeared to be Biden’s willingness to shut down the economy again, as Breitbart News reported at the time:

For example, Biden said that Trump should have asked China to admit American scientists; he had already done so. Biden said that Trump should invoke the Defense Production Act; he did so before Biden issued his statement. And Biden claimed this week that he would tell governors and local leaders to take responsibility; Trump not only did that, but also provided them with emergency medical supplies that they had largely neglected to maintain themselves.

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The Trump administration has also fought against edicts by Democratic governors and mayors to shut down religious services, arguing that the First Amendment right to religious liberty should not be less important than, for instance, the right to shop at Walmart. And Trump has pushed for schools to re-open, in line with the recommendations of pediatricians. Biden has sided with teachers’ unions, who insist that cases fall before schools be allowed to reopen.

So Biden’s plan does mirror Trump’s plan, though it is different in terms of its willingness to shut down society, and its disregard for the constitutional rights of the states and the people.

On Thursday, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Ranking Member, released a statement responding to recent remarks made by Jeff Zients, the coordinator of President Biden’s COVID-19 task force, noting that Biden’s plan is “not a new plan at all and leans on the Trump Administration’s success”:

Comments made about vaccine supply and distribution by the White House’s coronavirus czar are old Washington spin. The fact is the Biden Administration inherited contracts for 300 million doses of vaccines for two approved vaccines and two in the final stage of clinical trials. Because of Operation Warp Speed and President Trump’s strong leadership, the United States is already administering close to a million vaccines a day. By doing simple math, we are on track to deliver 100 million doses in 100 days, showing that President Biden’s plan is not a new plan at all and leans on the Trump Administration’s success. If President Biden wants to develop a new plan to administer 200 million vaccines in 100 days, Congressional Republicans stand ready to work with President Biden to help further speed vaccine distribution.

The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) announced on Wednesday, the day of Biden’s inauguration, it is changing the guidelines on counting coronavirus cases, which could reduce the number of cases recorded:

Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, praised W.H.O. for its response to the pandemic following Biden reversing Trump’s decision to begin withdrawing from the organization over its initial handling of the Chinese virus.

“We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” Trump stated, announcing his intention to withdraw the U.S. from the organization.

“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating the relationship,”
he added.

However, Fauci reiterated Biden’s commitment to remain a member state, praising the organization and stating that it has “rallied the scientific and research and development community to accelerate vaccines, therapies, and diagnostics.”

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