USA TODAY International Edition
C’mon man! If the pandemic is over, end the emergency.
It’s no news flash when President Joe Biden speaks first and thinks later. But his comments over the weekend on “60 Minutes” deserve scrutiny.
I wrote a few weeks ago about how Biden and Democrats are living in a fantasy land, where the “Inflation Reduction Act” – a spending bill – would reduce inflation. And Biden has continued to double down on how there is “zero” inflation or, as he said Sunday on CBS News, “just an inch.”
All the while, inflation still hovers around 40- year- highs.
To hear Biden talk about it, however, he has solved the problem that continues to worry Americans most. Those prices facing consumers at the pump or grocery store? Nothing to fear.
Still over 350 COVID deaths a day
The president also pronounced – to the surprise of public health experts and others in his administration – that the pandemic “is over.”
There are still more than 350 people a day in the United States dying from COVID, which hardly seems a success. And some doctors worry that by hearing Biden’s words, citizens might eschew the latest boosters and fail to take other preventive measures.
It’s not the first time Biden has prematurely declared victory over the pandemic. He did the same thing in July 2021, marking Independence Day by proclaiming that America’s “closer than ever to declaring our independence from a deadly virus.” That didn’t turn out to be the case at all.
Biden is clearly trying to score political points for Democrats ahead of the midterm elections. What stood out most to me, though, is the hypocrisy.
He did mention Sunday that COVID- 19 is still “a problem,” but if the pandemic is truly over then Biden should also end the national and public health emergencies that have allowed expanded government action in the name of fighting the disease.
In February, Biden extended the national emergency, which lasts a year unless he ends it sooner. In his declaration, he stated: “The COVID- 19 pandemic continues to cause significant risk to the public health and safety of the Nation.”
These “emergencies” are what Biden has used to justify a Medicaid expansion, and it’s even the justification for his recent costly student debt “forgiveness” ploy for midterm votes.
Perpetual emergency and agenda
Staying in a perpetual emergency has allowed the Biden administration to accomplish agenda items without the inconvenience of having to go through Congress.
To be fair, former President Donald Trump also abused the declaration of emergencies when he did so to make progress on building his border wall.
No matter who is in the White House, using emergencies for personal or party benefit goes against our constitutional separation of powers.
When Trump spoke mistruths or exaggerated, many were quick to jump all over him. Biden seems to get more of a free pass, but his reckless whoppers about the economy and the pandemic are too important to ignore.
As Biden would say, c’mon man.