President Biden gave his speech announcing a program of mandated vaccinations — a program of dubious legality, to say the least — on September 9 at 5:02 p.m. The speech was denominated “On Fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic” by Biden’s handlers in the White House daycare operation. I have posted the White House video below. The White House text is here.
It’s a rich text that is beyond my poor power to add or detract. In the spirit of inquiry I want only to offer a few notes on it. I am arbitrarily limiting myself to 25. Here they are:
• Biden seeks to turn our attention from the epic humiliation of the United States and ongoing catastrophe in Afghanistan. Thus the timing of the speech on September 9. I hesitate to accommodate Biden’s handlers in this task, but it’s an important speech in its own way.
• Biden trips right out of the gate: “[I]t starts with understanding this: Even as the Delta variant 19 [sic] has — COVID-19 — has been hitting this country hard, we have the tools to combat the virus, if we can come together as a country and use those tools.” That “[sic]” is in the White House text of the speech.
• Biden seeks to spread fear and lay the ground for action in the name of an alleged emergency. He’s got a long-term program that makes it sound like we are still somewhere in the vicinity of the beginning: “If we raise our vaccination rate, protect ourselves and others with masking and expanded testing, and identify people who are infected, we can and we will turn the tide on COVID-19. It will take a lot of hard work, and it’s going to take some time.”
• Biden claims credit for the “considerable progress” that has nevertheless been made. Wouldn’t any halfway sentient citizen find this disgusting? It is disgusting.
• Despite his call for unity at the end of the speech, Biden sows division: Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated, even though the vaccine is safe, effective, and free.” It’s us against them.
• “This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” And: “I want to emphasize that the vaccines provide very strong protection from severe illness from COVID-19.” As many have observed, this raises the question why he won’t leave us alone. There is an internal contradiction at the heart of the speech that is passed over in silence.
• “[T]o make matters worse, there are elected officials actively working to undermine the fight against COVID-19. Instead of encouraging people to get vaccinated and mask up, they’re ordering mobile morgues for the unvaccinated dying from COVID in their communities. This is totally unacceptable.” It’s all politics all the time and not of a savory variety.
• I enjoy the corrections in the official White House text. Here is the other one: The unvaccinated overcrowd our hospitals, are overrunning the emergency rooms and intensive care units, leaving no room for someone with a heart attack, or
pancreitis [pancreatitis], or cancer.” He otherwise managed to read his script correctly.
• Biden relentlessly sows division: “[A] distinct minority of Americans –supported by a distinct minority of elected officials — are keeping us from turning the corner.” String ’em up!
• “We cannot allow these actions to stand in the way of protecting the large majority of Americans who have done their part and want to get back to life as normal.” We have to roll right over you, whoever you are.
• Biden of course omits any realistic account of those who have declined vaccination. It’s all politics.
• Biden pronounces a six-point plan in the remainder of his speech. It’s a long way to temporary: “The measures — these are going to take time to have full impact. But if we implement them, I believe and the scientists indicate, that in the months ahead we can reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans, decrease hospitalizations and deaths, and allow our children to go to school safely and keep our economy strong by keeping businesses open.”
• This sounds like a recipe for dictatorship: “This is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and those around you — the people you work with, the people you care about, the people you love. My job as President is to protect all Americans.” Thanks, but I’ve got it covered.
• The descent to illegality is easy: “So, tonight, I’m announcing that the Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees, that together employ over 80 million workers, to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week.”
• “The bottom line: We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers.” There’s that internal contradiction again. They think we’re idiots.
• As health care workers resign rather than submit, one wonders if they’ve thought through the costs before figuring “the bottom line.” Something tells me they don’t care. It’s all politics.
• “For the vast majority of you who have gotten vaccinated, I understand your anger at those who haven’t gotten vaccinated. I understand the anxiety about getting a ‘breakthrough’ case. But as the science makes clear, if you’re fully vaccinated, you’re highly protected from severe illness, even if you get COVID-19.” There it is again.
• “That’s where boosters come in…” We have a permanent emergency.
• The man is angry. His heart is full of hate. Those Republican governors — they’re like George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door: “Let me be blunt. “My plan also takes on elected officials and states that are undermining you and these lifesaving actions. Right now, local school officials are trying to keep children safe in a pandemic while their governor picks a fight with them and even threatens their salaries or their jobs. Talk about bullying in schools. If they’ll not help — if these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as President to get them out of the way.”
• I love this: “And, by the way, show some respect. The anger you see on television toward flight attendants and others doing their job is wrong; it’s ugly.” Do as he says, not as he does.
• Biden utterly fails to acknowledge racial disparities in vaccination rates and what might account for them, but he gives us this with no explanation: “Before I close, let me say this: Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by this virus.”
• Given the welcome mat Biden has laid out for illegal aliens and his refusal to require their vaccination, this reeks of black comedy: “We also know this virus transcends borders.” You have got to be kidding me.
• He concludes on another internal contradiction: “Look, we’re the United States of America. There’s nothing — not a single thing — we’re unable to do if we do it together. So let’s stay together.”
• Biden and his handlers want the fight with state governors. They calculate that it serves their interests.
• Repulsive as it is, the speech should not be ignored. It is full of previews of coming attractions and troublesome portents. It would be a mistake to ignore it.