In the maiden speech of his presidency last night, Biden was like the rooster taking credit for the dawn.
Crowing loudly about the COVID vaccines he inherited from Donald Trump — his predecessor of whom he could not bring himself to speak — he announced triumphantly that 100 million shots of the vaccine will have been given by his 60th day in office.
But this is the Trump vaccine he is talking about. Operation Warp Speed mobilized the world’s scientists and pharma companies to develop the drug in an unbelievably short time. Trump paid for shots that did not then exist (and might never come to fruition) on spec so as to fund vaccine development.
Now Biden has the chutzpah to say, “When I took office 50 days ago, only 8 percent of Americans after months, only 8 percent of those over the age of 65 had gotten their first vaccination. Today, that number is 65 percent.”
After months? The FDA approved the first vaccine (from Pfizer) on Dec. 11, 40 days before the end of Trump’s term. Not months. In those six short weeks, his team delivered 31 million doses of the vaccine.
In fact, on Jan. 20, the day he left office, the Trump administration administered 1.5 million shots, a daily level Biden did not achieve until months later.
In his speech, Biden shed crocodile tears for “a generation of children who may be set back up to a year or more because they have not been in school, because of their loss of learning.”
Come on. Whose fault is that? Despite the CDC begging teachers to return to work and pleading with them that there was very little risk, Biden’s allies, the teachers unions, demand to this day that schools stay shuttered.
And Biden showered empathy on people of whom he said, “You lost your job, you closed your business, facing eviction, homelessness, hunger, a loss of control and, maybe worst of all, a loss of hope.”
But, again, these are the ravages not of the disease but of blue-state governors who ordered their businesses closed. We now know how futile that was.
Compare locked-down New York state with generally wide-open Florida. The Sunshine State has suffered 149 deaths per 100,000 people while New York has had 250.
In a speech that was as empathetic as it was pathetic, Biden stumbled through the text written for him on his teleprompter. As he approached the lectern, after walking a few yards on the red carpet unrolled before him, he began his speech noticeably short of breath, gasping for air as he spoke.
He punctuated his calls for national unity with partisan attacks. He said the virus’ emergence on our shores was met with “denials for days, weeks, then months. That led to more deaths, more infections, more stress and more loneliness.”
Denials? Biden’s memory must be failing him again. A few days after our first virus death, Trump boldly acted, banning travel from China amid a chorus of criticism.
It is also incredible that, on the day he signed legislation spending $1.9 trillion of stimulus money funding a long liberal wish list ranging from a start on a guaranteed annual income to funds for the arts and humanities, he gave the legislation scarcely 60 seconds in his 23-minute address. Why? Likely because Americans, while welcoming their $1,400 checks, see the spending as potentially ruinous for our nation’s finances.
It struck me during Biden’s speech that he is really more of a monarch than a president.
Like the Queen of England, he reigns rather than rules, enunciating a program laid out for him and written by his ministers. He is not commander in chief so much as puppet in chief.
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