Joe Biden is set to speak today on his “new” COVID measures. But while we don't have a scheduled time on that yet because the White House obviously has to make sure he's physically capable before they trot him out there, we do have the details of what he's going to say.
This morning, the administration released a document that included a lot of the same. Nothing listed here strikes me as making a difference, nor does the data support the need to battle Omicron in this way.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) December 21, 2021
The entire thing reads like a weird mix of stolen credit and humble-bragging. At one point, it cites the “President's leadership” for the current federal stockpile of masks and ventilators. Yet, those stockpiles were largely built under the prior administration. So while I guess you could thank a president, it's not Joe Biden who put the train in motion.
Besides, given the extreme transmissibility of Omicron and the prior inefficacy of masks, I'm not sure what any of that is supposed to accomplish. Ventilators are also not in short supply anymore because the medical community's thinking on when to use them in regards to COVID-19 has evolved over the last year and a half. Other throw-ins include claims about mobilizing FEMA and sending in 1,000 troops to help with staffing shortages at hospitals.
To that point in the document, there's truly nothing new. It's the same old stuff that may or may not be necessary. But it's the last announcement in the measures that strikes me as mind-boggling.
Two weeks ago, the White House announced that sending out at-home tests was expensive and wasteful of resources. Now, Biden is proclaiming that he is going to distribute 500 million rapid tests to American households.
Two weeks ago, Biden WH was asked: Why not mail home Covid tests to Americans? Answer: No, too expensive, wasteful. Today, Biden announces plan to mail home Covid tests to Americans. https://t.co/KlcMt4RtmN
— Byron York (@ByronYork) December 21, 2021
I can't think of a dumber thing to do than this. After all that we've learned, we are now going to go back to mass testing of asymptomatic individuals? This is how you keep this pandemic going forever because case numbers represent a point of control for the government. The more cases, the more justification they have for harsh “mitigation” and further power grabs.
Omicron is apparently 140x more transmissible than the original variant (70x as transmissible as delta, which was twice as transmissible as the original) and largely results in asymptomatic or mild symptoms. Mass testing of the asymptomatic will lead to societal shutdowns. pic.twitter.com/ztkZQ1ToNM
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) December 21, 2021
Ironically, Biden had it right the first time around. It is extremely wasteful to send out tests to random people, many of which won't even be administered properly, and likely most of which will end up in the trash. And while the claim will be that this is to help end the pandemic, obsessing over case numbers will do the opposite. What exactly is the thought here? That more people know they have COVID and self-isolate? But countries around the world that have harsh quarantine measures and lockdowns in place are still seeing exploding cases. Clearly, isolating people is not stopping the virus at this point.
With 17 months of mask mandates, 3.5 months of vaccine passports & ~85% of their population at least partially vaccinated, cases in Quebec have hit a new high
In fact, they’re going back into lockdown as of today
The commitment to failure & pointless stupidity is endless pic.twitter.com/l0VZIYYkM1
— IM (@ianmSC) December 20, 2021
The entire thing strikes me as yet more “zero COVID” delusion. Further, it represents a massive taxpayer giveaway to a pharmaceutical industry that has already suckled at the government teet for far too long.
In the end, what all these measures represent is another move to try to cover the administration's backside publically while not really accomplishing anything at all. FEMA already existed, and as the document points out, they've already been working with hospitals throughout the pandemic. The rest of these measures add up to more theatrics because for the White House, it is far more important they appear to be “doing something” than it is to enact policies that actually make sense.