More than anything, Biden was elected president in the pandemic. Still, comparisons to his super-spreader predecessor aside, Biden’s performance has been underwhelming. He will be haunted by his sustained optimism last July 4 weekend when he told the White House: “We are closer than ever to declaring our independence in the face of a deadly virus.” Since that speech, nearly 400,000 Americans have died from the virus, and more than 25,000 are currently hospitalized with Covid. Biden’s premature victory lap was based on an unwarranted faith that the country would profit greatly from vaccines and follow with boosters. While 78% of the United States has received at least one dose of vaccine, only 31% have taken a booster, far behind other countries where vaccines are readily available.
Yes, the virus has constantly confused scientists as new variants keep changing the equation. But public health officials appointed by Biden — particularly Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director — have offered inconsistent and confusing advice to the public. The administration has been slow to deliver on its promises to make the Covid drug Paxlovid readily available. And, alarmingly, a Democratic Congress can’t even find a way to approve a paltry $10 billion in needed Covid funding.
But the pandemic is a global phenomenon – and no country, even with exceptionally able leadership, has escaped the ravages of the virus. America has suffered an unnecessarily high number of deaths and serious illnesses due to resistance to vaccination and a hatred of masking. No one this side of Tucker Carlson could argue that Biden has handled the virus worse than Trump, but more than half of US Covid deaths have occurred since he took office.