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Biden's dishonest coronavirus expectation-setting

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 1/23/2021 Washington Examiner
Joe Biden et al. standing next to a person in a suit and tie © Provided by Washington Examiner

President Biden promised to be straight with the public, but when it comes to the coronavirus, it’s clear that his administration is more interested in gaming expectations.

When asked, as he was announcing a series of executive actions on COVID-19, why he wasn’t being more ambitious than 100 million vaccine doses in 100 days, Biden snapped at a reporter: “When I announced it, you all said it’s not possible. Come on, gimme a break, man!” And then he stormed off without taking any more questions.

The exchange happened as administration officials had launched a PR war designed to make it seem as though the COVID-19 response is in such shambles that anything that happens from now on will seem like a stunning success.

A CNN report claimed, “Newly sworn in President Joe Biden and his advisers are inheriting no coronavirus vaccine distribution plan to speak of from the Trump administration, sources tell CNN, posing a significant challenge for the new White House.”

The report, which was pushed all day on the network, featured a quote from a Biden official saying, “There is nothing for us to rework. We are going to have to build everything from scratch.”

This was so absurd that Anthony Fauci was later forced to shoot it down from the White House podium, saying, “We certainly are not starting from scratch because there is activity going on in the distribution.”

While the vaccine rollout has obviously been far from perfect, the reality is that at the time Biden was sworn into office, the United States was already administering vaccines at a pace of roughly 1 million a day — the same pace that would be required to meet the Biden goal.

On Wednesday, the day the presidency transitioned, the U.S. vaccinated a record 1.5 million people. And the U.S. averaged 912,000 vaccinations a day in the week leading up to Biden taking over.

When White House press secretary Jen Psaki was again asked why the administration was not aiming higher than the pace we are currently at, she replied: “So, the Trump administration was given 36 million doses when they were in office for 38 days. They administered a total of about 17 million shots. That’s about less than 500,000 shots a day. What we’re proposing is to double that to about 1 million shots per day.”

But this is laughable. Everybody knows that in the early days, the vaccination process was going slower and needed to be ramped up — plus the rollout coincided with the holiday season. Including those December days in the average is not a fair metric on which to be judged.

Right now, there’s no denying that coronavirus is currently spreading rapidly and is in a deadly phase.

But it’s worth keeping in mind that put on autopilot, one would expect that cases would start to decline as winter turns into spring and as the number of people being vaccinated or surviving COVID-19 with antibodies increases. Under any circumstances, we would expect the situation to be much better by the end of April (i.e., the end of Biden’s first 100 days) than it is now, in the heart of winter with the vaccine still in the early stages.

But you can mark our words that at his 100-day mark, Biden will try to take credit for tremendous progress in the coronavirus fight.

Tags: Editorials, Coronavirus, Joe Biden, Vaccination, Donald Trump

Original Author: Washington Examiner

Original Location: Biden's dishonest coronavirus expectation-setting

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