“China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man!” That was Joe Biden in May 2019. Fast forward to January 2021, Biden was heard to utter: “If we don’t get moving, they’re going to eat our lunch!”
Points For Consistency?
Biden does not miss a chance to blame the current circumstances on Donald J. Trump—the excuse that never expires.
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) February 15, 2021
In remarks at the National Institutes of Health on Thursday, Biden did some storytelling:
“While scientists did their job in discovering vaccines in record time, my predecessor — I’ll be very blunt about it — did not do his job in getting ready for the massive challenge of vaccinating hundreds of millions of Americans. He didn’t order enough vaccines. He didn’t mobilize enough people to administer the shots. He didn’t set up federal vaccine centers where eligible people could go and get their shots. When I became President three weeks ago, America had no plan to vaccinate most of the country. It was a big mess.”
Note: This somber analysis has not stopped Biden from counting $600 Trump stimulus checks toward his own “$2,000.”
Is that all true?
Rather than sending in the federal government first, the Trump administration launched partnerships with private-sector giants like CVS, Walgreens, FedEx, and UPS to expedite vaccine delivery and distribution—and placed the specifics of vaccine distribution in the hands of states. The Department of Defense deployed IT specialists to help jurisdictions use the Tiberius software platform to make data-based decisions. The CDC had distributed a playbook to states in October 2020, but a vaccine had not yet been approved and major funding for distribution hadn’t yet gone through Congress. The so-called “missed opportunity” to acquire more Pfizer vaccine doses had come and gone before the Pfizer vaccine was even shown to be effective in clinical trials—and the Trump administration DID acquire 100 million additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine after it passed muster. States struggled with last-mile operations for a variety of reasons: Workers took off and clinics cut hours over the holidays. Many of those first in line declined the vaccine. Hospitals had difficulty scheduling and staffing for the number of vaccines being shipped in a given week.
Will the Biden “plan” leap those hurdles and prove that Trump simply “did not do his job?”
Before the transition, HHS offered hundreds of briefings to incoming Biden officials, including on vaccine distribution. Career staff at CDC and DoD developed the original set of distribution plans. Both state and federal officials have acknowledged that the biggest issue is lack of manufacturing power. NFL stadiums may be available, but there aren’t yet enough vaccines to distribute—or, potentially, enough people lining up to receive them.
But for Biden, there’s just one simple explanation for all that: Donald J. Trump. Maybe it’s the only one he remembers offhand.
Planning For Pandemonium At the Southern Border.
Not only have 2,000 illegal immigrants been released into the interior of the United States in February alone—without being tested for COVID-19—but the Biden administration is also planning to begin processing asylum seekers required to wait in Mexico under Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program.
However, Biden officials declined to name the three ports of entry where claim processing would begin, citing concern that applicants would rush to those locations.
We’ll Give You Your Job Back, But ‘Equitably’.
Facing a hail of criticism for cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline (and fending off questions about when the replacement green jobs would be ready), the Biden White House has announced the formation of a Climate Innovation Working Group to figure out exactly that.
The objectives of the working group include:
- To “create good-paying, union jobs in a just and equitable way” — climate advisor Gina McCarthy
- To “build a new more equitable clean energy economy” — DOE Chief of Staff Tarak Shah
- To ensure that “opportunities to participate in climate innovation are shared equitably by all Americans” — Kei Koizumi, OSTP acting director