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Here’s a startling fact: Almost 200,000 people have died of COVID-19 on President Joe Biden’s watch. And that number can and will only go up.
Another way of looking at it is that in the 215 days since Biden was sworn into office, nearly 1,000 people have died of COVID on average every 24 hours.
It’s not especially fair to lay every single one of those deaths at his feet, but since when did anyone reporting on the pandemic numbers ever care about fairness? The media certainly didn’t when Donald Trump was president.
But even if it’s not exactly fair to blame Biden, it’s more fair to blame him for any one death on his watch than it was to blame his predecessor for any of the ones that occurred in 2020. Trump had no idea he would be finishing his term dealing with a highly contagious, airborne virus that has confounded scientists across the globe.
Biden knew what he was getting into. He not only told the voters to leave it to him, but he promised that he would “shut down the virus.” He wanted this responsibility, so why shouldn’t he be required to own it?
Viewing things from that perspective, Biden’s performance on the pandemic has been abysmal. And it apparently hasn’t gone unnoticed. A new NBC poll published Sunday showed 53 percent of U.S. adults approve of Biden’s “handling” of the virus, down 16 points since April.
That shouldn’t be a surprising development. Look at what has happened in that time. Biden came into office with two beautiful gifts. One of them was that new daily cases of infection were in sharp decline on Inauguration Day, with a seven-day average of 195,000, down from a peak of almost 260,000 on Jan. 8.
That trend continued to Biden’s benefit all the way through June, and the president had also successfully secured another multitrillion-dollar welfare package (sometimes referred to as “COVID relief”) to artificially boost the income of millions of workers.
Compounding Biden’s great fortune were the vaccines, the manufacturing of which his administration had nothing to do with. The hard work of getting just one viable vaccine, let alone three, was done by others. All Biden had to do was push it out to the public as quickly as possible.
The distribution was clumsy, and Biden pushed his vice president out to look ridiculous claiming they had been set back by the lack of a vaccine “stockpile.” There’s no reason a stockpile would have existed of a vaccine that needed to be created quickly and distributed immediately. Making things worse, a sizable portion of the population was and is hesitant to receive a shot after Democrats spent weeks saying the vaccines might have been rushed for political reasons and therefore might not be safe.
Now, since the start of July, we’re seeing a steep climb in new cases of infection, creating a wave of hospitalizations that looks a lot like the one we saw in the fall and winter. The New York Times reported last week that “more than 90,000 coronavirus patients were in hospitals nationwide, more than in any previous surge except last winter’s” and that we’re “averaging more than 800 newly reported deaths a day, about twice as many as in early August.”
This is the landscape brought to us by the guy who promised to “shut down the virus.” This is the guy who made the corny promise that he would “follow the science” and made a big show about how he would “listen to Dr. Fauci.”
That’s Biden’s pandemic record, and it sucks.