For a man who thinks he can unite the country, Joe Biden is seemingly unable to unite his administration under one narrative. Here’s what Biden said about his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic going forward during an address on 1/22/2021:
The American Rescue Plan also addresses the growing housing crisis in America. Approximately 14 million Americans — 14 million — have fallen behind on rent, and many risk eviction. If we fail to act, there’ll be a wave of evictions and foreclosures in the coming months as this pandemic rages on, because there’s nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months.
Nothing we can do? So why a one-hundred day mask mandate if we can’t do anything to stop the pandemic? What’s the point of the plan to give out one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine a day if we can’t do anything? And this wasn’t some slip of the tongue, this was one of Biden’s key arguments for Congress passing another stimulus package.
Or maybe it was a slip of the tongue, as it was contradicted by California Attorney General Biden’s nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, on CNN’s State Of The Union. When asked by Dana Bash on 1/24/2021, Becerra quickly went back on Biden’s statement:
BASH: So, I take that to mean you do think that you can change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months? And, if so, what time frame are we talking about?
BECERRA: Well, that’s where President Biden made it very clear. It won’t happen overnight.
Of course, “overnight” and “the next several months” are rather different lengths of time where things will not be effected. (To quote Austin Moon from the first episode of Austin And Ally, “[I didn’t get famous] overnight, it was more over two nights.”) Considering COVID-19 has an incubation period of fourteen days, obviously Joe Biden would not be able to stop any deaths for at least the first week or so of his administration, but Biden’s giving us rather contradictory information on when things can be turned around. Will it be in a couple of nights before he can take the wheel and steer us out of the pandemic, or will it be several months? And again, if he can’t effect the course of the pandemic for several months, than why has he done various policies during his first week in office (mask mandates, COVID-19 vaccines) with that goal?
I should also note that Biden’s use of the phrase “change the trajectory of the pandemic” has also been rather odd. Here’s some more of Becerra trying to justify the policies of his future boss:
Well, that’s where President Biden made it very clear. It won’t happen overnight. We can do better. We cannot only control COVID, but get us back to real normality. But it takes everybody, all hands on deck. We have got to make sure we’re coordinating and we’re talking to people. We can’t just tell the states: Here’s some PPE, some masks, here’s some vaccines, now go do it. No, no. When we hand them over, we stay with them and provide resources to make it happen. We do that, Dana, if we get people following the president’s guidance of wearing a mask for these first 100 days, we’re going to get control of this thing.
Wait, so will be able to “change the trajectory of the pandemic” or will we not? If Biden meant we won’t get rid of the virus overnight, then why didn’t he just say that? Saying we can’t “change the trajectory of the pandemic” implies that, no matter what we do, the pandemic is going out the same as if we did anything else. Saying we won’t get rid of the virus overnight implies that, while the virus will still be with us, we can at least get it under control.
Of course, this is far from the only example of a Biden Administration official not even being sure of what Biden believes. So far, his Press Secretary, Jen Pskai, has not known rather he trusts his FBI director, Chris Wray, what he thinks of abortion, and if he considers the concentration camps China has for Yugurs to be genocide. Acid test: Psaki said she didn’t know what Biden’s position on abortion was going to be on 1/21/2021 (but she did remind us he is a “devote Catholic”) and Biden announced his intent to repeal the Mexico City policy, which bans the federal government from funding international groups which provide abortion, on 1/22/2021.
While Biden is better at communicating with the public than the previous administration, he still has work that needs to be done. For one, he needs to make sure his entire administration understands his messaging or else risk much more confusion among the masses. This is bad enough during normal times, but during a pandemic Biden wants to stop, bad communication skills could be lethal.