How Biden Is Using 500,000 COVID Deaths
Democrats are pushing a "relief" bill that's long on politics and short on relief.
America marked a sad milestone yesterday: 500,000 COVID deaths. The surge that began in the fall brought more than half of the deaths since the coronavirus pandemic began — 100,000 in the last five weeks alone. The victims have been our loved ones and our neighbors, and all of us will remember the impact for the rest of our lives.
In a press conference and ceremony yesterday to mark the milestone, President Joe Biden aimed for somber reflection on the pain Americans have endured in losing loved ones, even speaking of his own tragic family losses of his wife and daughter (which he has disgracefully lied about) and then later his son (whom he disgracefully used in another lie). He once again spoke of the need to “fight this together” as the “United States of America.”
The problem is that his speech was badly written and delivered worse, and his administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress have done nothing to unify the country. They have only politicized COVID deaths, first using them to hang around the neck of Donald Trump and now to spend gargantuan amounts of money on their favored constituents.
Indeed, what Biden was really doing was setting up the passage of the Democrats’ latest larded-up “COVID relief” bill. Earlier in the day, Biden took a totally different tone, noting, “My critics say the [$1.9 trillion bill] is too big. Let me ask them a rhetorical question: What would you have me cut? What would you have me leave out?” Well, for starters, how about the $1.075 trillion that isn’t related to the pandemic at all?
Stiff Republicans opposition is due both to the deficit spending itself and to a huge factor that Biden didn’t mention at all: The trajectory of COVID is on a major downward swing. Cases are plummeting, deaths (a lagging indicator) are declining, and millions upon millions of Americans have received one of the vaccines.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared that the Dems’ package “looks like something you’d pass to blunt another year of shutdowns, not to help guide a smart and proactive recovery.”
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, almost literally espousing the same “We’re from the government and we’re here to help” tone of the president, said, “Members of Congress join Americans in prayer for the lives lost or devastated by this vicious virus. As we pray, we must act swiftly to put an end to this pandemic and to stem the suffering felt by so many millions. With the passage of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan this week, the American people will know that help is on the way.”
Help is on the way, courtesy of former President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed that delivered multiple vaccines in record time. Some say COVID cases are dropping too quickly to be attributable to the vaccines. But daily cases reached an all-time high of nearly 300,000 on January 8 and dropped to less than 65,000 yesterday. Over that same span, we’ve gone from eight million vaccines to more than 64 million. If it’s not causation yet, it’s one heck of a correlation.
Even better news on the vaccines comes from The Dispatch: “One study found that Pfizer’s two-dose vaccine is up to 85 percent effective after a single jab, and that it doesn’t actually need to be stored in burdensome, ultra-cold freezers as previously believed.” And another study found it “to be 89.4 percent effective at preventing infections, meaning the vaccine limits most asymptomatic transmission of the virus as well.”
By the end of March, Pfizer and Moderna are likely to have distributed 220 million doses, with another 20 million coming from the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Between these vaccines and natural antibodies, one Johns Hopkins professor thinks we’ll reach herd immunity by April.
But by all means, Democrats absolutely must spend another $2 trillion, and they’ll use whatever milestones and emotions necessary to do it.