The Biden administration is playing up its role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, big time.
“Help is here,” shouts a headline at the top of the WhiteHouse.gov website, referring to the $1.9 trillion spending extravaganza President Joe Biden signed a few weeks ago.
There’s no mention of the $3 trillion in help that was delivered last year by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump — in record time — to help small businesses stay afloat, workers stay attached to their jobs, customers to keep spending, and that has led to an economic recovery faster than the “experts” predicted.
But where the White House is really being deceptive is when it comes to vaccination progress.
On the front page of WhiteHouse.gov is a bar chart showing how many shots have been delivered relative to Biden’s new goal of 200 million shots by April 29. (See chart below.)
There’s a curious feature about this chart, however. Based on the scale, there were zero shots administered on Day 1 of the Biden administration. The chart is divided up into equal 50 million shot increments. So, it appears that on Biden’s “Day 1” there’d been none, when in there had already been more than 21 million shots administered.
The exact number of vaccine shots given by Jan. 20 was 21,746,697, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On the day Biden was sworn in, more than 1.5 million people got immunized. The seven-day rolling average on Jan. 20 was just shy of 1 million. By the end of January, and well before any Biden policies were implemented, the seven-day rolling average was close to 1.4 million. That was from a dead start in mid-December. (See chart below.)
Put simply, the chart emblazoned on the White House home page is hugely deceptive, and intentionally so.
What did Biden do, exactly, to accelerate the pace of vaccinations? Nothing in particular. By the time he signed his $1.9 trillion “relief” bill, which was supposed to accelerate immunizations, the daily number was already above 2 million.
As a matter of fact, the one big project Biden did undertake to speed up vaccination rates — creating mass vaccination sites — has been a complete bust.
As USA Today reported in January, “As part of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 strategy, such mass vaccination clinics will soon become familiar to millions of Americans.”
The paper went on to say that “The Federal Emergency Management Agency could run up to 100 high-volume sites nationwide within a month to help reach the administration’s goal of giving 1.5 million shots a day during Biden’s first 100 days in office.”
But just this week, Politico reported that:
The Biden administration is rethinking a costly system of government-run mass vaccination sites after data revealed the program is lagging well behind a much cheaper federal effort to distribute doses via retail pharmacies. …
Despite the money the federal government has spent on the mass-vaccination pilot sites, they are administering just a fraction of the shots given across the country each day. Federal data show the retail pharmacy program — which has signed up 21 chains and 17,000 stores — can reach far more Americans in a shorter time, according to four senior officials with direct knowledge of the matter.
Note that the retail pharmacy program was set up by … the Trump administration! In November 2020 it announced “partnerships with large chain pharmacies and networks that represent independent pharmacies and regional chains. Through the partnership with pharmacy chains, this program covers approximately 60% of pharmacies throughout the 50 states.”
In other words, Biden is abandoning his hugely expensive government-run vaccination program and relying on a private-sector arrangement established by Trump to get vaccines out quickly.
Yet the White House has the gall to imply that no vaccines had been administered when Biden took office?
And here we thought Donald Trump was the ungracious one.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board