From “we will beat” the pandemic, to relaxing mask mandates, to “we will be back to normal” by the end of 2021. The rhetoric from the Biden administration, especially from the president himself and Dr. Anthony Fauci, has been completely contradictory. The balance sheet yields many unfulfilled empty promises that have done nothing but raise Americans’ expectations regarding the pandemic and a return to normal life.
Is the pandemic beaten in America?
“I’m never going to raise the white flag and surrender. We’re going to beat this virus. We’re going to get it under control, I promise you,” said then-presidential candidate Joe Biden during the 2020 campaign.
The reality is that, with the numbers at hand, the president has yet to deliver on this promise. Not only because cases continue to rise daily, but because deaths also went up with the new surge from the Delta and Omicron variants. Certainly, there are fewer deaths and hospitalizations compared to the first year of the pandemic, but expectations were so high that it is disappointing that the goal of defeating the virus is still so far off.
Meanwhile, in other countries, such as the United Kingdom and Israel, deaths were incredibly low.
What happened to the return to normality?
“When do I think things will get back to normal? I’ve been cautioned not to give an answer to that because we don’t know for sure. But my hope is, by this time next year, we’re going to be back to normal,” President Biden said in March last year.
A month earlier, during an interview with CNN, he had pledged a return to normalcy by Christmas. “As my mother would say, ‘with the grace of God and the goodwill of the neighbors,’ that by next Christmas, I think we’ll be in a very different circumstance, God willing, than we are today,” Biden said. “A year from now, I think that there will be significantly fewer people having to be socially distanced, having to wear a mask.”
On September 9, the President announced a six-part plan to fight the Delta variant, which included strengthening safety protocols in schools and on interstate transportation (including the use of masks, for example) mandatory vaccination for federal workers, and increased distribution and reduced costs of testing for the virus.
However, thousands of Americans are currently required to wear masks in offices, on airplanes or to enter enclosed spaces, and in many parts of the country, such as New York, citizens are required to have a health pass to enter restaurants. In addition, the president has already extended the mandate for facemasks at airports and on flights until March.
When was it that America would get back to normal? This was definitely another promise with high expectations that did not materialize.
Do you get Covid when vaccinated or not?
By now almost everyone knows that vaccines do not prevent infection, but they do mitigate the aggressiveness of Covid-19 symptoms, i.e., reduce hospitalizations and deaths. However, in June 2021, the president said literally that “you’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations.”
Last December 21, Biden himself said in a statement that it will be seen how “some fully vaccinated people get COVID, potentially in large numbers. Vaccinated people who get COVID may get ill, but they’re protected from severe illness and death.”
The contradiction is obvious: the president in a matter of months went from saying you won’t get it to say you will get it, but only mildly. This is the kind of statement that generates skepticism about vaccines and also frustrates society, as the media and politicians themselves raise the alarm about the increase in Covid-19 cases.
If you are vaccinated, do you need a mask?
It was not only President Biden who launched the misinformation that you do not get the virus if you are vaccinated. Dr. Anthony Fauci himself said in May of last year that “being a fully vaccinated person, the chances of my getting infected in an indoor setting is extremely low.”
The context of that sentence is important: Fauci made the comment when he was being criticized for wearing the mask while fully vaccinated. In that month, the CDC announced the recommendation that the vaccinated could stop wearing masks and that children did not need them everywhere.
Fauci himself, during May, commented that mask use indoors should “start to being more liberal” as the vaccination process progressed. However, in December, the scientist himself said that wearing masks on flights was necessary and that we should not consider eliminating the requirement. He also favored implementing the health passport for people to fly within the United States.
“A vaccine requirement for a person getting on the plane is just another level of getting people to have a mechanism that would spur them to get vaccinated,” Fauci said.
Wasn’t it that there would be no mandatory vaccination mandate?
In December 2020, President Joe Biden said, apropos of the mandatory vaccination debate, that he did not believe “they should be mandatory” and that he would not ” demand it to be mandatory” either.
Fauci, in August 2020, was even more blunt: “You don’t want to mandate and force anyone to take the vaccine. We have never done that (…) It would be unenforceable and not appropriate.”
Both statements are in direct contradiction to the mandatory vaccination mandate for federal employees that affected some 100 million Americans, many of whom did not want to get the Covid-19 vaccine. Critics of President Biden and Dr. Fauci, especially Republicans, have recalled each other’s words on mandatory vaccination, accusing them of lying to the country.
“They promised no vaccine mandate. They lied,” launched Republican National Committee.