Biden had his ‘mission accomplished’ moment with his dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. And now we have a fourth wave that threatens to stop all the progress made over the last few months.
Leana Wen, “A former Baltimore public health commissioner who now teaches emergency medicine at George Washington University, Wen has become a prominent commentator on the coronavirus pandemic.“:
The single biggest mistake that the Biden administration made during this entire pandemic response — and I would argue in the entire Biden presidency — was back in May when the CDC said that vaccinated people can take off their mask, but did not have proof of vaccination attached to it. And as a result, people understood the pandemic to be over them. The unvaccinated began behaving like they were vaccinated.
And what did we see? We saw exactly what I and many public health experts predicted at the time. The honor code did not work. Surges have happened because of unvaccinated individuals. Now with the Delta variant, restrictions are coming back, except nobody’s listening anymore.
President Biden absolutely declared a victory too soon.
The problem is Biden’s approach is to let decision making to others (in particular the CDC and Dr.Fauci) rather than taking full command. That has led to mixed messaging. He has allowed Dr.Fauci to become the target of criticism, especially from Republicans. Biden’s hands-off approach was intended to contrast with his predecessor who politicized every aspect of handling the pandemic. Biden’s approach is not much better.
The hands-off approach has at times left his White House scrambling to find its footing in the wake of some of the agency’s most consequential moves.
This was Wen in May:
I can’t tell you how shocked I was by their announcement because the CDC went from 0 to 100.
They went from this overly cautious, nonsensical approach to another nonsensical approach – but one that is dangerous, one that throws caution out the window.
Ironically, I was on CNN just before the announcement and was asked to speculate on what I wished the CDC would do. Previously, I had been very critical of the CDC and their overly cautious approach. Before last week, the agency was saying the vaccines are very effective, but you can’t change your behaviors very much after getting vaccinated. It didn’t make sense and was actually serving as a disincentive to people getting vaccinated.
I explained that I thought it was too soon to be lifting indoor mask mandates overall, but that the CDC could say that fully vaccinated people could be around one another without restriction, including in workplaces and large, public venues like theaters. Also, the CDC could have defined metrics for vaccination that are then tied to lifting remaining mandates. So if a particular region had 70% of its population fully vaccinated – whatever the range is, defined on a region-by-region, community-by-community basis – it could determine when remaining restrictions would be removed.
Another major failure has been the inability to help get the world vaccinated. A major factor in the recent cases of positivity surge has been the highly contagious Delta variant which came from India. It’s no surprise that with less than 1 percent of the earth’s poor population being vaccinated that it would have an impact in the U.S. So it was imperative that we help get other needy countries vaccinated. The Biden administration is either unwilling and/or is incapable of helping other nations.
President Joe Biden came up well short on his goal of delivering 80 million doses of coronavirus vaccine to the rest of the world by the end of June as a host of logistical and regulatory hurdles slowed the pace of U.S. vaccine diplomacy.
Although the Biden administration has announced that about 50 countries and entities will receive a share of the excess COVID-19 vaccine doses, the U.S. has shipped less than 24 million doses to 10 recipient countries, according to an Associated Press tally. The White House says more will be sent in the coming days — with about 40 million doses expected to be shipped by the end of the week — and stresses that Biden has done everything in his power to meet the commitment.
It’s not for lack of doses. All the American shots are ready to ship, the White House said. Rather, it’s taking more time than anticipated to sort through a complex web of legal requirements, health codes, customs clearances, cold-storage chains, language barriers and delivery programs. Complicating matters even further is that no two shipments are alike.