Op-Ed: President Biden may have finally realized that shutting down America over COVID is the wrong move, as commonsense ‘red state’ governors have known all along

January 03, 2022

By Andy Puzder

By Andy Puzder in Daily Mail

As we approach the end of the Biden Administration's first year, there are positive signs of a shift in its approach to fighting the COVID pandemic.

Increasingly, the administration has adopted the more balanced approach the left so harshly criticized as lockdowns swept the nation – but that red states, such as Florida, have enthusiastically embraced.

After two years of pleas by those of us who advocated this commonsense approach, it's fair to ask why the Biden administration is suddenly embracing it?

In a word, the answer is – 'reality.'

Biden has grossly underperformed the expectations he set with respect to fighting the virus and Americans noticed. 

Reality can be hard to ignore.

Biden's oft repeated – and spirited – campaign vow that he would 'shut down the virus' has given way to his concession that, in reality, 'there is no federal solution.'

Biden's claim that Donald Trump was personally responsible for 220,000 pandemic deaths and that '[a]nyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain President of the United States,' must now face the reality of over 400,000 COVID deaths since he took office.

Biden's promise of a 'national strategy' to defeat COVID has collapsed under the reality that his only meaningful strategy was to coerce Americans to take the vaccines developed under the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed – the same vaccines he railed against as untrustworthy during the campaign.

As disingenuous as Biden's campaign rhetoric appears today, that was not the case just 13 months ago.

According to exit polling, 66 percent of the voters for whom the coronavirus pandemic was the top issue voted for Biden. That may have won him the election, but that worm has turned.

According to a recent Monmouth University poll, 46 percent of Americans believe Biden has done a good job handling the pandemic, down from 62 percent in April.

Those are the lowest marks Biden has received since taking office, and the number is unlikely to improve as the Omicron variant spreads.

While some Americans surely bought into Biden's campaign claim that he would actually 'shut down' the virus, others realized Biden's goal was never to set realistic expectations.

Rather, it was to defeat President Trump regardless of the costs in terms of credibility or political repercussions. But people did expect that Biden would at least competently manage our response to the virus.

That simply has not been the case.

A year into the Biden presidency, people are still having a difficult time finding something as simple as a COVID test.

As Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University's School of Public Health, stated: 'I cannot believe this is where we are almost two years into the pandemic. Everybody saw it coming. We knew we needed more tests. I think the administration had dropped the ball on this.'

As Omicron devastates New York City, people are lined up for blocks just to get tested. I have a son who lives there and got COVID before Christmas. He searched for an at-home test. There were none.

Monoclonal antibody treatments, effective against the Omicron variant, are also in short supply even though the Food and Drug Administration first approved them for emergency use in November of 2020.

Read the full piece by Andy Puzder in Daily Mail here.