There were two primary lines of attack from President Joe Biden on former President Donald Trump throughout the 2020 presidential campaign. The first and most prominent approach was to characterize Trump as evil. Trump’s a racist because he wants a secure border, a misogynist because he believes it’s wrong to kill babies in their mothers’ wombs, and greedy because he’s wealthy. And he’s orange. The second matter on which they hammered Trump was his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. We were told by our media that Trump had “blood on his hands,” referring to the number of COVID deaths across the country. In hoping to distract us from his own, utter incompetence on the matter, New York’s Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo assured us that Trump was “responsible for every COVID death in New York.” But the loudest voices criticizing Trump and second-guessing his every response to COVID was undoubtedly the Biden-Harris Campaign.
During the final presidential debate in late-October, President Biden avoided getting into any specifics regarding his own plan to address the pandemic, but was sure to blame Trump by asserting, “If you hear nothing else I say tonight, hear this. Anyone who is responsible for [220,000] deaths should not remain as president of the United States.” On his campaign’s website, again Biden was vague on actual actions he would take, with plans for testing, PPE, treatments, and vaccine distribution that sounded eerily similar to what President Trump had already been doing. Included in the explanation of his plan, Biden declared , “Every day that Trump wastes not acting, he squanders the sacrifices of the American people,” and promised that if elected he would be “ready to hit the ground running and fight the virus.” Elect me, Biden implored, and all of our COVID problems will disappear. So, how’s that working out?
Last Friday while signing two unrelated executive orders amidst numerous reporters, Biden explained “there’s nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months.” That’s some change in tune. If Biden had “hit the ground running” as he had committed, one would think that there would be something he could do. After all, if not in his first few days in office, shouldn’t there at least be something he could do within a few weeks?
According to Biden’s campaign, Dr. Anthony Fauci was a key piece scheme to fight the virus. “Minutes after he is declared the winner of the election,” they declared on the very first page of their COVID plan, “Biden will make one of his first calls to Dr. Tony Fauci and ask him to extend his unprecedented record of service to six Presidents by serving one more.” Again, Fauci had been deeply involved with the Trump Administration’s fight against the pandemic, so exactly what was different with the Biden plan compared to the Trump plan regarding Dr. Fauci was unclear, but the idea seemed reasonable.
Apparently that call from Biden to Fauci must have gone very well. The day after Biden’s inauguration, Fauci appeared at the White House podium and stated that he had just had a call with the president and he had a “liberating feeling” being part of the Biden Administration as opposed to Team Trump. Fauci looked forward to being able to work without “repercussions” from Trump. And we can be sure Fauci was telling the truth, because after all, who likes repercussions?
Dr. Fauci undoubtedly did the best job he could under President Trump, and we should have no doubt that he will give his best effort under President Biden. But to paraphrase Coach Bill Parcells, we don’t get medals for trying. In the real world, there are no participation trophies and there are “repercussions” to people who get things wrong. It’s called accountability, and accountability is fundamental to a functioning society.
Dr. Fauci was indeed incorrect about many things COVID-related. During a discussion with the New York Times in December, Dr. Fauci admitted he had openly lied about the percentage of vaccinated Americans needed to achieve herd immunity stating, “When newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85.’” Fauci needed to be held accountable for such a misrepresentation. During an appearance on the Today show February 29th, only weeks before the pandemic exploded, Fauci said he saw no need for Americans to make changes to their lifestyles. Fauci needed to be held accountable for such a miscalculation. But there is no topic that more glaringly illustrates the need for Fauci to be held to account than the topic of mask-wearing.
Last March, at the beginning of the pandemic, Dr. Fauci publicly stated, “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask,” and later admitted he had made this recommendation so that more masks might be available for health care workers. Within weeks, not only was Fauci recommending mask-wearing, he explained that the practice was critical for saving lives. A few months later, Fauci appeared at the opening game of the Washington Nationals baseball team to throw out the first pitch. Fauci wore a mask to the mound, proceeded to throw the ball like a six-year old, and then sat down and took of the mask moments later; while sitting right next to someone. And earlier this week, Fauci upped the ante on mask-wearing. Not only should everyone wear a mask, now Dr. Fauci is recommending that we wear two masks. If the current trend continues, by this summer Dr. Fauci will be advising to wear five masks, including one as a jock strap. The only question remaining is this: why would anyone consider Dr. Fauci even remotely credible on the subject of masks?
Aside from vaccines, there have been no easy answers for COVID, and this point has been clear from the beginning. It’s a highly infectious and deadly virus. States like New York made the decision to lockdown their economies in an effort to slow the spread, while states like Florida have been much more reluctant. In spite of those efforts, New York’s deaths-per-million due to the disease are almost double that of Florida. New York’s results on COVID rank second-worst in the country, whereas Florida ranks 24th best. Do blame and credit belong solely to the respective governors? Of course not. It’s a viral pandemic, and humanity’s ability to control such tragedies is significantly limited. Likewise blame and credit shouldn’t be assigned to the president, whether it’s Biden or Trump.
There’s only so much that President Biden can do to stem the tide of COVID. He’s a human being, not a deity. The same can be said of Dr. Fauci, who’s a smart guy with a lot of experience, but those qualifications only go so far. And the same could also have been said of President Trump, though it never was.
President Biden and others politicized COVID from the very beginning, blaming President Trump for circumstances that were clearly beyond anyone’s control. Biden blamed the entire pandemic on President Trump and then promised to be our knight in shining armor, and two days after taking office shrugged his shoulders and admitted he was in fact powerless. Dr. Fauci has made obvious, blatant missteps with COVID, and those missteps deserved the repercussions he’s so happy to be avoiding now. We have President Biden who admits there’s nothing he can do, and Dr. Fauci who’s delighted because Biden won’t be applying any consequences for his mistakes. Meanwhile, they’ll just continue blaming President Trump. How liberating. The only downside is the thousands of Americans who are dying as Biden and Fauci play their political games.
P.F. Whalen is a conservative blogger at TheBlueStateConservative.com. His work has appeared in multiple publications, including the Western Journal, Human Events, and American Thinker. Follow him on Parler @PFWhalen and on Gab @PFWhalen.