Pollak: Biden Broke His Main Promise — to Control the Pandemic

Joe Biden on Masks
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Joe Biden promised to control the coronavirus pandemic, and he is failing.

Today, there are more new coronavirus cases than there were at this point in 2020. The economy is sputtering, and parents are starting to worry that schools will close once again. Moreover, FDA officials are resigning in protest at the White House’s effort to impose booster shots that they say are not yet supported by scientific evidence — breaking a central Biden campaign promise to “follow the science.”

Biden has repeatedly touted his administration’s success in distributing coronavirus vaccines. But Biden has followed the plans left for him by the Trump administration, which not only developed the vaccines — despite Biden’s public skepticism — but also prepared them for rollout.

The one difference Biden made on vaccines was his ill-fated decision to suspend the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a mistake that slowed the rollout and bolstered the skepticism of the vaccine-hesitant minority.

Biden’s main pitch on the coronavirus pandemic was that he was going to impose draconian federal government controls that Trump had avoided using, and which many Democrats, having talked themselves into a panic, favored.

Biden adopted masks as a kind of talismanic symbol, along with promises to impose the rule of “experts” like Dr. Anthony Fauci, whom the media and the left elevated into a mythical political hero despite his many failures and reversals of medical opinion.

The new president imposed a mask mandate on federal property — then violated it himself. In May, he suddenly dropped the mask requirements for vaccinated people, following an unexpected shift by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

That decision, the Washington Post observed, left out “local and state health departments, labor unions, governors and numerous other public officials,” and may also have encouraged unvaccinated people to go maskless.

Earlier, Biden had mocked states like Texas and Florida for dropping their mask mandates: “Neanderthal thinking,” he said, revealing that he shared the condescending view among liberal coastal elites of their conservative compatriots.

But lifting the mask mandates also lifted the economy, without — at first — raising cases. Biden would later claim credit for the job creation and economic growth that was largely generated by states that chose to ignore his administration’s stern lectures.

By the time Biden was back to urging people to wear masks, far fewer people — even in Democrat-governed states — were inclined to listen. Much of blue America, like red America, has decided to ignore the pandemic and to go about their lives as best they can.

The Biden administration is now conducting “civil rights” investigations into states that prevent school districts from mandating masks for children. Such abuses of power only reinforce public will to disobey the administration.

The media are hardly drawing attention to Biden’s failure on the pandemic. But on the odd occasion when the media do criticize him — as they have on the disastrous Afghanistan pullout — his brittle press secretary, Jen Psaki, has replied: “[I]t is easy to throw stones or be a critic from the outside. It is harder to be in the arena and make difficult decisions.”

Trump, too, faced difficult decisions — and unlike Biden, Trump had to face the pandemic when so little was yet known about it.

It is doubtful, but perhaps Biden, Psaki, and the crew of Obama retreads might have considered just how difficult Trump’s task was when they decided to politicize the pandemic early last year, rather than offering him their support and leaving politics for the fall.

A virus is not as easy to manage as Biden pretended. He claimed he would be “better prepared, respond better and recover better” to new outbreaks. He has failed to deliver on that promise — and on many others besides.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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