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The holidays are over, and with them, any semblance of goodwill from Joe Biden. As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the country, Biden has proved he isn’t just a failure. He also simply doesn’t care.
Despite Biden’s promise to “shut down the virus,” more than half a million Americans are now testing positive for COVID-19 every day. New cases are reaching record highs and hospitalizations are on the rise. Tragically, on Biden’s watch, more Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19 in 2021 than in 2020. And instead of getting back to normal, we’re reverting to the restrictions and closures of the early days of the pandemic.
Just look at the more than 5,000 public schools that were closed for in-person learning for at least part of last week – even though we know the risks of COVID-19 for children are extremely low. In deep blue cities like Seattle, Atlanta and Portland, Democrats are standing by as their teachers union allies use the pandemic as a bargaining chip, threatening to strike if their demands aren’t met. This week, members of Chicago’s teachers union voted to not show up for work and instead move classes online as the omicron variant surges.
But while Democrats play politics, students pay the price. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 97% of educators saw “some learning loss” in their students over the past year. Another study predicts the pandemic’s interruptions will cost the average student around $60,000 in lifetime earnings, with Black students being hurt the most.
Of course, students are also suffering from mental health issues. As a mom myself, these consequences break my heart. Kids shouldn’t be victims of a social experiment. But not only has Biden refused to leverage his influence to keep schools open, his Education Secretary Miguel Cardona is threatening even more “emergency” closures.
Meanwhile, coronavirus tests are few and far between. Americans from Oklahoma to Virginia are facing long wait lines for rapid tests – if they can find them at all.
Biden openly admits he should have ordered tests “months ago,” and he can’t say he wasn’t warned. Despite vows to increase production and accessibility of at-home testing, the Biden administration repeatedly rejected proposals to order more tests ahead of the holidays.
Now, with omicron spreading quickly, Biden is scrambling to lower expectations.
In the spring, the White House “never followed up” on a proposal to purchase millions of rapid tests. In October, the Biden administration rejected a proposal for “free rapid tests for the holidays.” And when asked whether the testing shortages were a ”failure,” Biden said no, showing just how out of touch he is and how little he cares.
Now, with omicron spreading quickly, Biden is scrambling to lower expectations. Last month, he announced that 500 million tests would be sent out in January – even though the contract has yet to be signed. But it’s too little too late. Biden was caught flat-footed by the latest COVID variant, and Americans are feeling the consequences.
As Americans struggle to find tests, they’re also struggling to find COVID-19 therapeutics. Biden promised to deliver more Pfizer therapeutic pills, but they won’t arrive until June. To make matters worse, his administration has played politics and limited shipments of life-saving treatments to red states like Florida and Texas. Biden appears to be doing everything he can to make it difficult for Americans to receive the care they need.
As cases surge, voters are seeing Biden for who he’s always been: a man driven by his own political interest. As his failures add up, he is working to shift blame and failing to take responsibility. Biden used to promise to “shut down the virus,” but now he weakly claims “there is no federal solution” and that this can only be “solved at a state level.”
Thankfully, Republicans are working to do just that. In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey announced a new program to keep students learning in-person. The program grants families up to $7,000 in funding to use on their child’s education if their school moves online – even just for a day – and will enable parents to take the reins on their children’s schooling.
In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has made it possible for anyone with COVID-19 to receive monoclonal antibody treatment without a doctor’s prescription. Under the governor’s leadership, Florida has also demanded the Biden administration stop limiting the number of life-saving therapeutics that states can acquire. DeSantis has promised to open additional therapy treatment locations if Biden sends more doses.
And in Texas, which is facing the same issue, Gov. Greg Abbott has called out Biden for his hypocrisy. “Biden vows full federal support to help states combat COVID. But he’s not,” Abbott said. “Biden is hoarding the antibody therapeutic drugs [and] denying states independent access to that medical treatment.”
These Republican governors are demonstrating the courageous, innovative leadership Americans desperately need. While Biden turns his back, Republicans are leaning in, offering solutions that help everyday families.
Republicans care. That’s the strategy voters will reward on Election Day.