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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Biden’s team is once again lowering expectations for its pandemic response

The lowering of expectations continues.

CNN reported Thursday, less than 24 hours after President Biden was sworn into office, that “one of the biggest shocks” for his team was “what they saw as a complete lack of a vaccine distribution strategy under former President Donald Trump, even weeks after multiple vaccines were approved for use in the United States.”

An unnamed source complained that the new administration is “going to have to build everything from scratch.”

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Wait a second — why was that “one of the biggest shocks” to them? Biden campaigned on having his own plan to “shut down the virus.” Democrats and liberals in the media have been whining for months that there was no “national plan” to vaccinate the population, apparently under the delusion that state and local governments can simply be displaced or co-opted and that Trump himself should have been putting shots into people’s arms.

Even if there were some plan in place, wasn’t the whole Democratic narrative, reinforced by the national media, that everything Trump was doing was wrong and incompetent anyway? Why would the Biden administration have wanted to “inherit” anything?

Anyone paying attention during the campaign knows that Biden’s “plan” for the pandemic was not meaningfully different from what Trump’s administration was already doing. Biden said he would encourage governors to impose mask mandates, which the vast majority of them were already doing, and that he would ask Congress to pass a relief package for businesses, which was already in the works.

Beyond that, Biden threw out the random goal of having 100 million vaccines having been administered within the first 100 days of his tenure. He may well accomplish that because we were already at about 1 million shots per day before he took office. (Thanks, Trump!) What this actually means is that Biden’s goal just isn’t very ambitious.

With the help of a CNN reporter eager to help, Biden administration is setting itself up as some kind of uniquely efficient governing machine. If things simply go as already projected under the last administration, Biden is all set to become a hero. If they don’t — well, he inherited a mess, can you blame him?

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