News & Politics

Can We Talk About Biden's COVID Record?

Can We Talk About Biden's COVID Record?
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Remember last year, when Joe Biden blamed President Trump for the COVID-19 deaths in the United States?

“It is what it is because you are who you are,” Biden told Trump during their first debate regarding the COVID death toll. “A lot of people died and a lot more are going to die unless he gets a lot smarter, a lot quicker,” he insisted.

Well, now Biden is president, and a lot more people have died. In fact, “The number of U.S. Covid-19 deaths recorded in 2021 has surpassed the toll in 2020,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “The total number of reported deaths linked to the disease topped 770,800 on Saturday, Johns Hopkins data show. This puts the pandemic-long total at more than twice the 385,343 Covid-19 deaths recorded last year, according to the most recent death-certificate data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

That’s an amazing statistic. Keep in mind that the first COVID-19 vaccine wasn’t approved for emergency use until December 11, 2021. For the entirety of Biden’s presidency, there have been at least two vaccines available. By early August 2021, half the population was fully vaccinated. If we use COVID deaths as a metric to measure a president’s success against COVID, Biden’s is already far, far worse than Donald Trump’s. Trump didn’t have any vaccines until the last five weeks of his presidency. Biden took office with two approved for emergency and a third approved soon after. Biden also took office with a year’s worth of research and study into the virus and a year’s worth of advances in therapeutics and treatments.

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In other words, if the fight against COVID was a relay race, Trump handed Biden the baton with a strong lead, and somewhere along the line, Biden lost ground. But Biden claimed he had a plan. He claimed he’d shut down the virus.

“We’re eight months into this pandemic,” Biden said weeks before the presidential election, “and Donald Trump still doesn’t have a plan to get this virus under control.”

“I do,” he claimed.

So … what was the plan? Has Operation Get-The-Virus-Under-Control started yet, or is he waiting for a rainy day to pull it out of the drawer? Because it might be a good time to execute it. Most of us are anxious for things to get back to normal, not to wear masks or socially distance from friends and family. You know … like he promised would happen.

“I’m not going to shut down the country. I’m not going to shut down the economy. I’m going to shut down the virus,” Biden promised last year, days before the election.

I guess COVID didn’t get the memo.

Blaming Trump for the deaths caused by COVID was pure politics, but Joe Biden can’t avoid the fact that he said things would get better on his watch, and they haven’t. Technically, Biden isn’t responsible for these deaths any more than Trump was responsible for the COVID deaths that happened while he was president. However, by blaming Trump last year and claiming he had a plan to get it under control, Biden accepted the responsibility and blame for the deaths that have occurred on his watch.