Former President Donald Trump is almost non-existent in President Joe Biden’s battle against the coronavirus.
With the exception of a brief indirect jab, the Democratic president made no mention of Trump in his first prime-time address to the country. It was the same when Biden kicked off a nationwide tour to support the $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. Now that his administration is on the verge of fulfilling his pledge to administer 100 million vaccine doses in his first 100 days, Biden isn’t in a hurry to take credit.
According to Biden, the United States’ rising vaccination rate, economic growth, and the optimism that is steadily spreading across the country are solely his and his party’s responsibility.
Biden is scheduled to provide an update on the vaccine campaign on Thursday afternoon, with what is expected to be an early victory lap for meeting the target more than a month ahead of schedule. Although official statistics will take a few days to come in, the 100 millionth dose is expected to be given on Thursday, his 58th day in office.
The president’s strategy reflects a desire to influence how voters — and history — remember America’s recovery from the worst health and economic crises in decades. In the near term, the debate will determine if Democrats maintain control of Congress after the midterm elections next year. In the long run, each president’s legacy is on the line.
For the time being, the war is framed by opposing realities.
On the Democratic side, Biden and his supporters see a world that still needs government support. They point to the fact that more than 9 million jobs have been lost, that thousands of Americans die every week, and that state and local officials from both parties are seeking assistance.
Biden’s aid package, according to public polls, has widespread support. The plan offers direct checks and tax cuts to Americans, as well as funding for the pandemic war and helping state and local governments close budget gaps.
Republicans, on the other hand, claim that most Americans are doing well after the GOP, led by Trump, put the nation on a road to recovery before Democrats gained control of the White House and both chambers of Congress in January. They point out that hundreds of billions of dollars from last year’s bailout packages are yet to be invested.
Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania refused to support his Republican Senate colleague Rick Scott of Florida’s request for states to return billions of dollars allocated in Biden’s pandemic-relief initiative, which includes $1,400 checks for most Americans, in an interview. Toomey, on the other hand, called the Democrat-backed bundle, which polls show is overwhelmingly successful, a “embarrassment.”
The Pennsylvania Republican said of Biden’s American Rescue Plan, “We definitely didn’t need it right now.” ”I’ve learned from a number of people who got the check that they didn’t need it.”
“I think roosters take credit for the sunshine sometimes,” Toomey said, mocking Biden’s attempts to take credit for the pandemic’s success.
True, both Biden and Trump deserve credit, though Biden stands to profit from his position of influence during the country’s recovery from the pandemic.
Last year, Trump’s response to the virus was chaotic and divisive, but it’s undeniable that the former Republican president’s drive for vaccine development, nicknamed “Operation Warp Speed,” gave Biden something to build on as soon as he took office.
Biden’s staff made headlines in his early days in the White House when they publicly stated that he had inherited no strategy to fight the pandemic. However, the White House has since recanted the claim because it isn’t legally correct.
Two successful vaccines were handed down to the Biden administration, with more on the way. Also a much-touted vaccine delivery network by retail pharmacy has its origins in the previous administration.
Despite this, Biden has oversaw a significant rise in vaccine delivery since taking office and has taken a more active role in providing states with clear pandemic-related guidance. For example, the new president declared late last week that by May 1, all Americans would be eligible for a vaccine, an order intended to help cut through the patchwork of overlapping eligibility criteria that exist around the world.
Trump, according to Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison, downplayed the magnitude of the coronavirus for months, leaving states to cope with historic health and economic crises on their own.
The Associated Press quoted Harrison as saying, “Joe Biden has come in to clean it up, to clean up the mess.” “Giving Donald Trump credit is out of the question for me. This is a guy who can’t even say, “You should put on a mask.” And right now, you can see that the people who are opposing the vaccine the most are those who voted for him.”
According to a new poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 42 percent of Republicans believe they will not get the shot, compared to 17 percent of Democrats.
Despite the GOP’s complaining, Trump has done nothing to establish himself as an efficient leader in the field of public health.
In his final months in office, the former president largely ignored the pandemic — and the progress of vaccine production — instead focusing on spreading misleading allegations of election fraud.
Trump’s aides practically begged him to concentrate on marketing the promising vaccines in the weeks following the November election, claiming he would be able to claim credit for their production and rollout. Trump, on the other hand, opposed an ambitious vaccine promotion policy devised by his staff.
Trump is the first living president who did not participate in a public service announcement urging all Americans to get the vaccine, which was published last week. During a Fox News interview on Tuesday, he briefly addressed the topic, recognizing that many of his supporters are opposed to vaccination.
“I’d recommend it to a lot of people who are hesitant to purchase it. And, to be honest, a lot of those people voted for me,” Trump added. “But, again, we have our liberties, and we must abide by them, and I agree with you on that. But it’s a wonderful vaccine that’s still really healthy. And it’s something that’s effective.”
Some Biden aides are surprised that Trump hasn’t been more aggressive in seeking to rehabilitate his reputation by selling vaccines created under his watch. It’s an oversight they’re not making an effort to fix.
Although openly praising Trump’s vaccination pledge, the White House is happy to let Trump disappear into the background. After Trump’s inauguration, Biden has passed on from “the former man,” barely using Trump’s name in public — for good or ill.
Biden has taken care to credit researchers and scientists who created the technologies used in the three approved COVID-19 vaccines, according to White House officials, but he has not done the same for the Republican administration, which has poured billions into their work over the last year.
Though Trump is largely absent from the discussion, the Republican National Committee is hoping to undercut Biden’s message by overwhelming local media outlets in key states with Republican opponents.
According to RNC talking points circulated to surrogates, vaccine delivery will earn “just 1%” of the rescue package (roughly $20 billion). However, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, almost $93 billion of the law is devoted to vaccine delivery and other public health programs.
The Republican talking points disregard the $1,400 checks for most Americans, which cost $422 billion in total.
Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee has launched a small national ad campaign with the slogan “Help is Here” and billboards criticizing Republicans in many states for opposing “$1,400 checks and shots in weapons.”
Harrison, the DNC chairman, pledged that Democrats would not let voters forget about Republican obstruction and Trump’s lack of leadership at a time when the country most needed it.
“On this particular question, we’re going to be a dog with a bone,” he said. “Joe Biden and the Democrats did it on their own.”