News & Politics

Biden's CNN Town Hall Lovefest Includes Foibles, Half-truths, and a Few Surprises

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

It is not clear why CNN held a town hall hosted by Anderson Cooper with President Biden last night. Perhaps this a way to avoid more unpredictable press avails, where Peter Doocy from Fox News might ask an uncomfortable question. Or maybe it is just another opportunity for the corporate media to fawn over the man who saved them from four more years of Orange Man Bad. Several highlights are worthy of note, even if you chose not to tune in. Unless it is part of your job, the choice to binge watch Tiger King for the second time is entirely understandable.

Let’s start with the lie that won’t die. The Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine narrative:

President Biden himself received two doses of the vaccine before Inauguration Day. He received his second dose on January 11, on camera with CNN. On January 14, U.S. News reported that the daily vaccination total was nearing 1 million doses a day. The following day, the federal government released all available doses to administer to those age 65 and older. Biden bravely committed to 100 million doses in the first 100 days of his presidency. We currently have a seven-day rolling average of 1.72 million vaccinations per day. There are more than enough “vaccinators” to nearly double the administration’s goal.

Despite having said on the campaign trail that he would “shut down the virus,” he told moderator Anderson Cooper that we might not be back to normal until next Christmas—that maybe a year from now, fewer people will need to wear masks and social distance. But he doesn’t really know:

It is not clear how many more new residents the state of Florida can hold, but if you’ve got real estate there, you can expect it to appreciate. Those of us sitting in states where life is 95% back to normal watch this and roll our eyes. This months-long timeframe is not an acceptable answer.

Then there was a discussion about China’s human rights abuses in Hong Kong and against the Uighur Muslims. Biden’s answer sounds like a dodge, but it may be a ham-handed attempt to explain the position he articulated to Chairman Xi Jinping. Biden said that “the central principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China. And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that.” Then it sounds like he says that Xi needs to act in accordance with American values, but it comes off horribly:

The American perspective is clear, according to a July 2020 poll from Pew Research. Seventy-three percent of American adults hold an unfavorable view of China in the wake of the pandemic. A full 78% percent blame the CCP’s response for the global spread of the virus, and 73% say the U.S. should promote human rights in China, even if it harms bilateral economic relations. Even if the Biden administration doesn’t understand this, the CCP does. They are already considering curbing rare-earth metal exports to the U.S., which are essential in many high technology products, such as smartphones.

Biden gave one very correct and clear answer to an 8-year-old girl, Layla, whose mother was terrified of catching COVID-19. Biden was uncharacteristically honest and told the little girl that children do not get very sick from COVID-19 as a general rule and, if they do catch it, are not likely to give it to their parents or other adults. Finally, a clear statement on kids and COVID on a corporate news channel.

After essentially making the case that it is safe for children to go back to school because they don’t often get sick and don’t usually transmit COVID-19, the president asked Layla if she was in school, and the child said no. Biden said that that was a problem—her whole life had changed, but said she shouldn’t be scared. Actually, she should be in school, based on everything else Biden said. The president then contradicted press secretary Jen Psaki’s statement on school reopening to cover for that. He noted that it was a miscommunication with Psaki that the goal was more than 50% of schools being open one day a week in the next 100 days.

Instead, he said that grades K-8 would be back five days a week by his 100th day in office. The polls on the original proposal must have been terrible. One has to wonder if he has broken it to the teachers’ unions yet. But maybe they’ll be okay with it. In most of the country, they’d only have to work for about a month before the summer break.

Then, despite a looming crisis at the border, based mostly on Biden’s own statements about pausing deportations and giving amnesty based on migrant interviews, he said he would not sign an immigration reform bill that does not provide amnesty for 11 million illegal immigrants. The number residing in the U.S. was estimated to be 14.3 million in 2019,  but he uses the smaller number anyway. The truth is that no one knows the actual number:

Of course, there was nothing but praise for President Biden on CNN following the event.

Anchor Don Lemon may need a nappy to wipe his chin after watching Biden answer clearly scripted questions from Democrat voters during a town hall. It’s almost like we never really had the election and Biden is still on the campaign trail. Can’t you just feel the unity?

 
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