“I told you so.” Those can be some of the most satisfying words to say. But this is one time I wish they weren’t true.
In my last post only a few days ago (Covid-19 and the Return to Normal), I suggested the Biden administration didn’t want the Covid-19 pandemic to end, because it gave them a useful excuse for ramming through legislation that fit their radical agenda. “Never let a crisis go to waste,” were the famous words of Rahm Emmanuel, former White House chief of staff under President Obama. President Biden appears to be heeding his advice.
Gerard Baker, Editor at Large of The Wall Street Journal, gave another explanation for the White House behavior. He said they wanted to create the fictitious narrative that President Biden inherited a Covid-19 response plan in disarray, thereby painting Biden as the hero of the nation that crushed the viral pandemic. This, of course, is absurd since it was the Trump administration that helped develop not one, but three vaccines in record time through Operation Warp Speed. It was the Trump administration that already had nearly a million doses of vaccines going into the arms of vulnerable Americans before Biden even took office, achieving the goal Biden set for his administration in the first 100 days. Baker called this false narrative “a preposterous fabrication.”
Now, only a few days later, President Biden is living up to our expectations. Even though the FDA approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine made it possible for the president to announce he anticipated enough vaccines to inoculate every American by May, he refused to consider this might represent the opportunity to return to normal.
“The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking,” said Biden last week after Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifted his statewide mask mandate and restrictions on businesses.
Vaccination rates in Texas and other states have been increasing while hospitalizations are plunging. About one in five adults in Texas has received at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Most are seniors and people with health conditions who are at highest risk of severe illness. Hospitalizations in Texas have fallen more than 60% since a mid-January peak. This is consistent with trends in other parts of the country.
The original excuse for lockdowns, masking, and social distancing was to “flatten the curve” and “slow the spread” in order keep hospitals from being overwhelmed due to shortages of PPE, beds, and ventilators. With those goals achieved, and the most vulnerable Americans vaccinated, the need for government interventions no longer exist. By now most Americans are aware of the risks, have taken appropriate measures to mitigate those risks, and should be allowed to make their own decisions about continued use of masks.
But this doesn’t fit into the Democratic game plan. The Wall Street Journal editorial board called them out on this in a recent editorial. They say, “But Democrats seem pleased they can use the pandemic to expand the welfare state. Some are now demanding recurring stimulus checks and enhanced unemployment benefits tied to economic conditions. “This crisis is far from over, and families deserve certainty that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads,” said 10 Democratic Senators in a letter to President Biden last week.
If you doubt their intent to expand the welfare state, read my post Covid-19 Relief Bill Kills Jobs. The analysis of economists Casey B. Mulligan and Stephen Moore estimates the Covid-19 Relief Bill will kill between seven and eight million jobs, ensuring the economy will not recover until the enhanced unemployment checks end in August. Who knows the White House won’t insist they are extended even longer on the excuse that the pandemic isn’t over? What better way to keep Americans dependent on the government – and voting for the Democratic party? Expect more negativity about the pandemic from this White House in the future.