DANIEL VAUGHAN: Biden is the reason there’s no federal answer to the pandemic

It’s no secret that President Joe Biden campaigned on the promise that he and his administration would shut down the COVID-19 virus ravaging the world.

Biden spent a year blasting then-President Donald Trump and the federal government’s response to COVID-19. But less than a year into his administration, Biden has pivoted from claiming he alone will solve the crisis to throwing up his hands and walking away.

Biden has radically shifted his tune on a phone call with the National Governor’s Association as the omicron variant of COVID-19 overruns the country. Biden told the assembled governors, “Look, there is no federal solution. This gets solved at the state level … And then ultimately gets down to where the rubber meets the road, and that’s where the patient is in need of help or preventing the need for help.”

He encouraged the governors to let him know if they needed anything.

This quote is the perfect encapsulation of the Biden playbook on solving a crisis. First, claim you have a plan to solve it. Second, implement whatever program you claim to have, even if it’s just allowing inertia to carry the country to whatever destination we were headed before your plan.

Third, declare victory. Fourth, when it’s clear nothing has been achieved, walk away, saying there’s nothing you can do.

This progression is, for instance, how the Biden White House handled the Afghanistan crisis. First, they claimed to have a plan to remove US troops and our allies successfully. Next, they started implementing that plan. When everything fell apart and U.S. troops were murdered by terrorists trying to save civilians, Biden then claimed they were getting everyone out who wanted out.

After this lie quieted the press down, he’s walked away, claiming victory despite reports from Afghanistan indicating potentially more than 60,000 people are trapped behind terrorist lines.

And we’re on to the next crisis from the Biden administration, usually self-inflicted.

That’s where we are on the pandemic. Biden has moved on to the last step because he never had a plan. If you look at any of his campaign materials on the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden’s plan did nothing different from Trump’s Operation Warp Speed. Biden slapped paint on that federal government program and claimed it as his own. And now, when it’s falling apart due to neglect, he wants to walk away.

I know some conservatives want to jump on the line that there “isn’t a federal solution to the pandemic” because it scratches their priors. But Biden is absolutely wrong with that line. The person who disproved it was Donald Trump throughout 2020 via Operation Warp Speed and every single measure taken by the federal government.

Donald Trump’s first policy was a federal travel ban with China — the place we knew the virus was originating. That bought us time. The second major screw-up by the federal government was the disaster in the FDA and CDC over approving COVID-19 tests.

Trump cut through regulations to speed that up. We had shortages from ventilators to PPE. The federal government arranged those supplies to states in need, ending disastrous deficiencies.

The pinnacle of Operation Warp Speed was finding three viable vaccine candidates. Under Trump, the federal government cut countless unnecessary regulations and red tape that prevent miracle cures from reaching the market. And while China sat by and lied about its role, stopped counting cases and deaths, the federal government under Trump delivered vaccines that solved the pandemic, dramatically decreasing deaths and cases.

When Joe Biden took office, he was given a working vaccination rollout plan. Dramatically decreasing case and hospitalization numbers. And a pathway to ending the pandemic. Biden proceeded to take that situation, gift-wrapped on a silver platter, and did precisely nothing.

Biden approved no new vaccines. NovaVax and AstraZeneca, vaccines in use in Europe and elsewhere, are unavailable to Americans because the White House gave up. It took the CDC and FDA longer to approve vaccines for children than it did to get initial approval under Trump.

Instead of increasing our reserve of treatments and pharmaceutical interventions, Biden did nothing. Instead of increasing the supply of monoclonal antibodies, Biden shrunk from the task and resorted to rationing.

Biden nuked the credibility of vaccines first by allowing the FDA and CDC to shoot themselves in the foot over Johnson and & Johnson’s vaccine. Next, instead of repairing those bridges, Biden declared a dark winter and promised to force everyone to get vaccinated via OSHA, a questionable legal maneuver, and needlessly and radically ramped up the politicization of vaccines.

Whereas Donald Trump praises the vaccines and solutions produced under his administration, Biden has decided to walk away.

There are plenty of federal solutions available to Biden. Approve more vaccines. Approve and produce more pharmaceutical solutions to this virus for people who don’t want to get vaccinated. One President was far-sighted and sought any solution America could create. The other is content to do nothing and ride whatever coattails remain of his predecessor.

We’re reaping the consequences of Biden’s abdication of leadership — once again. People died in Afghanistan due to that abdication, and we can only hope that omicron doesn’t become more lethal, and we don’t suffer the consequences of Biden’s incapacity to fulfill the terms of the office.

Biden has failed in a simple comparison to Trump based on pandemic response. We’re not even a year into his administration.

Global pandemics aren’t about learning on the job or walking off into the sunset. The federal government can and should do things — Biden can’t perform those tasks. There’s no national solution right now because of the man in the White House, not because there aren’t things to do.

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