Biden’s COVID Cynicism


Yuval Levin wrote here this morning about the Biden administration’s PR game on COVID vaccination. It gave CNN a story that it was having to “build everything from scratch” to distribute the vaccines. In reality, we’re already on pace to hit the Biden team’s vaccination goals, which have been set low so that they can be easily met.

Dr. Fauci shot down the story this afternoon, leading CNN reporter M. J. Lee to dismiss him, ridiculously, as “a holdover from the Trump administration.” Fauci has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.

It would be a mistake, I think, to let the new administration’s behavior slide on the ground that it’s politics as usual or that Trump downplayed the pandemic for political reasons. Biden has said that fighting COVID is one of his very top priorities — as well it should be — that he would be guided by science, that he intends to do a far better job than a president he continually depicted as aberrant, and that he wants to dispel Americans’ cynicism about politics. Now he is letting self-serving politics warp his anti-COVID strategy at a very basic level. He ought to correct course, and Republicans should hound him until he does.

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Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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