Joe Biden’s recent 60 Minutes provided a boon of material on various topics. From his dismissal of high inflation to his assertion that people are just psychologically incapable of being happy under his presidency, Biden did everything he could to confirm everything his critics have said about him.
Yet, because the president is uniquely bad at his job, he also managed to anger those on his own side. It was this clip, where Biden says the “pandemic is over” that got the juices flowing of COVID-19 hysterics everywhere.
Immediately, sources leaked to Politico that the administration’s health officials had been blind-sided by the remark. In fact, Biden himself had recently used the supposed existence of the pandemic to justify the illegal cancellation of student loan debt. In one rambling answer, though, he wiped all that away, leaving those still dawning their N95s and signing up for their 5th booster twisting in the wind.
Naturally, that meant the Biden’s handlers had to jump in and clean up his mess. That happened almost immediately on Sunday evening after the president claimed American men and women would go fight to defend Taiwan, with the White House putting out a statement saying their position had not changed. On Tuesday, Biden’s press secretary, Karine Jean Pierre, took questions on his equally confusing pandemic claim. Within short order, the clean-up attempt turned into outright lying.
To summarize, we are now at the point where Biden can say something and his handlers will simply pretend he didn’t say it. The lying is bad enough, and this administration has gotten disturbingly comfortable with telling falsehoods, but what does all this say about the president himself? In this case, Biden specifically said “the pandemic is over.” There is no ambiguity in that answer. It does not actually mean that “COVID remains a problem,” as Jean-Pierre asserts. When you say something is over, that means it’s over.
Jean-Pierre wasn’t done making a mess of the messaging, though. At the end of the clip, she further tries to claim that Biden meant “we have to continue to make sure that we are fighting this once-in-a-generation pandemic.” So apparently, the pandemic is over, but also the White House must continue to fight it because it’s really serious. Did that clear everything up for everyone?
Returning to what this says about Biden, I’m not sure how much more evidence there needs to be to prove that he’s not in charge of his own administration. As president, he’s supposed to have the final word on the policy positions of his administration. Having handlers that step in to contradict and reset statements is not normal. In fact, it would seem to be disqualifying to me. What is the point of having a president who is so out of it that he’s completely controlled by underlings, up to and including major policy proclamations? At that point, you might as well use the 25th Amendment and try something different.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a press corps in this country that will hold leaders to account that they agree with ideologically. A Republican could never get away with this stuff. Where are the fact-checks of Jean-Pierre’s statement? They won’t be coming because that would mean putting Biden in a politically precarious situation, and we can’t have that, can we?