Last night, President Biden finally gave his first prime time address, on the first anniversary of the WHO declaring COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic. The top takeaway is that he said all Americans would be eligible to receive the vaccine by May 1st. Here’s video.
I think it’s safe to say that he cleared the low bar set for him. He read a scripted speech that was heavy on emotion with no obvious mistakes (and of course, no questions.) But if your standard for a Presidential address is that he look you in the eye and tell you the truth, then he tripped over the first hurdle.
He talked a lot about truth, and how Americans are owed the truth. But this was his third sentence: “A year ago, we were hit with a virus that was met with silence and spread unchecked.” That’s a blatant lie.
One year ago today was March 12, 2020. The virus was the lead story on all newscasts. The lead headline of the New York Times was “US to Suspend Most Travel from Europe as World Scrambles to Fight Pandemic.” That very night, President Trump held his own televised address, informing Americans of the latest travel ban and other steps being taken to fight the virus. He’d already cut off travel from China back on January 31st, a move Biden condemned at the time as xenophobic.
Biden also seemed to imply that he inherited a chaotic vaccine program with no distribution plan, but because of his efforts, “we’re actually on track to reach this goal of 100 million shots in arms on my 60th day in office.” In fact, the week he was sworn into office, an average of 983,000 people a day were already receiving vaccines developed in record time thanks to Trump’s Operation Warp Speed program. On three of those days, over a million shots were given. That put us on track for 100 million shots by the end of March, Biden or no Biden.
There’s also plenty of backlash over Biden generously telling us what we’ll be allowed to do after getting vaccinated, like having small family barbecues by the 4th of July, but still no large gatherings.
As many Republicans pointed out, once someone is vaccinated (or has already had COVID and recovered), and we’ve long since passed herd immunity, why do they have to keep living in a cave for the rest of their lives?
In a related story, once again, Texas ignores Biden’s nannyism, as the Rangers announce that they’ll return to 100% stadium capacity for opening day on April 5th, with all attendees required to wear a facemask.