Even before President Biden was officially sworn in, corporate American was already rearing to have his back. Earlier this week, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told the press that his company was on track to produce 100MM COVID vaccine doses by the end of Biden’s first 100 days, as expected, while a top Amazon exec sent Biden a letter asking if there was anything Amazon could do to help with the vaccine rollout (meanwhile, a “logistical hiccup” by McKesson forced the rescheduling of 23K injections).
Did we not need assistance two weeks ago? https://t.co/3oZb378mae
— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) January 20, 2021
Now, after Wall Street already declared “the beginning of the end” of the COVID pandemic, Bloomberg News is pitching in with a little CYA, publishing a report claiming Biden’s Dr. Fauci led White House COVID team is now seeing that the outlook for the US pandemic is worse than they had believed…presumably because the Trump COVID team (also led by Dr. Fauci) kept them in the dark.
The Biden team, Bloomberg says, is “increasingly worried the coronavirus pandemic is spiraling out of control – imperiling his promise to contain the outbreak – as cases and deaths mount, vaccinations lag and a more-transmissible strain emerges in the US.”
The way the editors framed the issue, they made it sound as if any potential surge in cases later in the year – for whatever reason, even something totally unforeseen like more viral mutations (the other day, brazilian media warned of a new hyper-infectious strain emerging in the Amazon) – would be President Trump’s fault, not Biden’s and the Democrats.
As they learned more about the federal response to the pandemic, Biden’s transition team grew alarmed at a lack of coordination with states, the people said. Biden himself has warned of a “dark winter” and has flatly said the pandemic will worsen before it improves.
The stakes are escalating. U.S. hospitalizations are at near-record levels, and daily cases and deaths have doubled since Election Day on Nov. 3. While blame has fallen on the Trump administration for its failure to develop a national testing or vaccination strategy or encourage widespread mask-wearing, Biden’s team – which keeps adding new experts – now inherits the job of containing the pandemic.
On Thursday, Biden will sign executive actions to “move aggressively to change the course of the Covid-19 crisis and safely re-open schools and businesses, including by taking action to mitigate spread through expanding testing, protecting workers, and establishing clear public health standards,” according to a memo by Ron Klain, the White House chief of staff. After taking office on Wednesday, one of Biden’s first acts was expected to be an order requiring face masks on federal property.
But why does Bloomberg feel the need to engage in this type of defensive cover? Well, presumably because some of the “experts” (who perhaps have been afraid to speak up and question the official narrative on masks, lockdowns and vaccines) truly are concerned that none of the palliatives actually work – though they probably wouldn’t tell you that if you asked them
But the risk of explosive new strains, including a UK variant known as B.1.1.7, threatens to upend it all and leave Biden at the end of his first 100 days with a pandemic that has worsened, instead of improved. There’s concern among his team that the scope of the problem he’s inherited is far worse than anticipated, posing a political risk to Biden’s White House.
The most alarming developments have come over the past month. Some Biden advisers, who asked not to be identified discussing internal conversations, said it isn’t vaccine logistics that worry them most, but the new strain of the virus, which is more contagious. The US already has a perilously high baseline caseload – about 230,000 new infections a day, of late – that could quickly become unmanageable as the mutant strain takes hold.
“This administration is inheriting such a horrible problem, not of their making,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and a member of the coronavirus advisory board for Biden’s transition. “This is a perfect storm.”
Some twitter users apparently saw through Bloomberg’s CYA operation on behalf of the new administration, and mocked it accordingly.
But . . . but I was told we just needed a President with a “(D)” after his name and the whole problem would be SOLVED INSTANTLY!!!!!
— Sleep Is For Wusses Ego (@MyAlteredEgo) January 20, 2021
I thought his mask mandate was going to save the day?!?
— Mike Wilson (@wagon_hunter) January 20, 2021
With the excuses on day 1! wow
— Divo Crockett (@Divo_Crockett) January 20, 2021
Meanwhile, earlier today, a top Israeli health official announced that the Pfizer vaccine, which the country has used to carry out one of the most comprehensive vaccination programs in the world, is only 50% effective, roughly half the 95% that the “Phase 3 trial data” suggested.
Even with Israel apparently well on its way to herd immunity (or so they say) the country has moved to extend its lockdown once again, this time until the end of the month. Like the Biden White House scientists reportedly told Bloomberg, their biggest fear is that the mutations – which these same experts said just months ago showed no evidence of being a problem – will make the virus more deadly, more infectious, or more difficult to contain with the vaccines, as we continue to head into a future full of unknowns.
But just remember…whatever happens over the next year…it’s still Donald Trump’s fault.