Animatronic pep talk

President Biden took to the lectern in the White House East Room yesterday for a talk headed “Remarks by President Biden Laying Out the Next Steps in Our Effort to Get More Americans Vaccinated and Combat the Spread of the Delta Variant.” The White House has posted the text here. I can’t find a White House video; I have posted a slightly truncated video below. The video omits only these opening remarks:

Good afternoon. Today, I want to talk with you about COVID-19.

Maybe the best way to start is: In a significant part of the country, you wouldn’t have to take one of these off, you don’t have to put one on — like in my home state of Delaware, where I lived in New Castle County, where I was yesterday in Pennsylvania — because people got vaccinated. They got vaccinated. They don’t need a mask when the majority — the vast majority of people got vaccinated.

Now, look, I want to talk about what’s really happening — what it means, what it doesn’t mean, and what we need to do this week and the months ahead.

As usual, animatronic Joe stared vacantly into the teleprompter. He occasionally repeated himself and turned up the volume for emphasis: “Look, this is not about red states and blue states. It’s literally about life and death. It’s about life and death. That’s what it’s about.” In case you were wondering what it’s all about.

His message seemed to be geared to Republicans and Trump voters. We supposedly have resisted the vaccinations that resulted from Trump’s Operation Warp Speed. He seems to think we took his and his running mate’s badmouthing seriously. We thought he was a joke then and think that he is a joke now.

His team apparently hasn’t reviewed the CDC data with him. Hasn’t Biden heard?

We had an animatronic short circuit here: “Every school should be open, and we’re giving them the tools to be able to do so safely. Even in those areas where they have a higher vaccination — they have a higher rate of COVID.”

And here, I think: “I’m being literal when I say this: As I travel the world, almost every day a foreign leader calls me, asking can I provide his or her country more vaccines.”

He drones on as he mixes in the carrots and the sticks beyond the point of tedium. Animatronic Joe is not a master of the tools of persuasion.

UPDATE: In his Morning Jolt Jim Geraghty explores “What Biden’s Vaccination Plan Gets Wrong.”

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