This 46th president of ours has gone out of his way to pronounce from his bully pulpit – and in his case, the word bully is particularly pregnant with meaning – that the responsibility for his failure to meet vaccination goals, and to keep his promise to stop COVID-19 dead in its tracks, rests solely with extreme right-wing anti-vaxxers.
This bitter, libelous charge by a leader shrinking under the weight of self-imposed crisis – while issuing breathtaking mandates on private business – has gone unchallenged by big corporate media. Thus has it been with many other declarations by this president, especially when he stirs the pot of racial division and rips into Trump loyalists and hardline GOP governors like Ron DeSantis. There are several simple and obvious questions which beg answers in determining the validity of Biden’s open hostility to those apparent Trump loyalists who are interfering – deliberately, he likely believes – with his plans to spike the COVID football.
Losing the Race for Equity
Consider the recent exclusive report by NBC News, one of the most reliably left-wing, Trump-deranged outlets in the dominant progressive media. Because of their myopic, insular worldview, they are blissfully unaware of the ripe, ironic storyline underlying their own reporting. Here is the relevant data they have unveiled from the early days of this administration: of the 4.6 million doses of vaccine administered at federally run sites to people identifying their ethnicity, from mid-February to early July, 42% were given to whites, 26% to Hispanics, and 15% to blacks.
There are two basic ways to report such information. The first, chosen almost universally by elite media, is to highlight the inequity of it all – once again, systemic racism rears its ugly head with vaccine discrimination. NBC reports breathlessly and ashamedly in the first paragraph, “Nearly 3 out of every 4 shots administered at the federal government’s Covid vaccination center in Cleveland went into the arms of white people, according to site-by-site data provided exclusively to NBC News by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”
The second way to interpret the data, in light of the continuing lower vaccination rate among blacks than whites, is to question why this administration has apparently either lied, or more likely failed, in its single-minded mission to achieve “vaccine equity,” cleverly joining its two favorite words du jour.
The immediate conclusion Biden and his cohorts wish us to draw is that white people who don’t want to get vaccinated are selfish and reckless, willingly doing harm to the greater society with their Trump-inspired intransigence. But black people have not taken the jab because they are victims of a systemically racist society. Do leftists have so little self-awareness as to realize the paternalism involved in stating, explicitly or implicitly, that black people are incapable of making decisions on the vaccine for themselves? Or more importantly, that they may have their own valid, particular worries about the vaccine, just as Caucasians do?
A Black and White Blame Game
Have you heard about the horrific Tuskegee experiment conducted in 1932 by the federal government which denied syphilis treatment to blacks? Given that shameful case and many others, black people have more reasons than whites to distrust a government-issued vaccine. But it’s far more politically profitable to deflect blame from your own failures by engaging in reverse racism and pinning the blame exclusively on deplorable right-wing whites. Is Biden trying to gaslight us and make us forget it was Trump who developed the vaccines – and in record time, no less?
At the same time, Biden is unwittingly admitting failure, because his administration promised a full-court press on “vaccine equity” as the loftiest of its goals in the afterglow of inauguration. “During the mission, our intentional, evidenced-based and consistent decision-making advanced equity,” FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell told NBC. “We moved fast to deliver vaccines to underserved communities.” But here Biden is, months later, hectoring and scolding a distinct group of Americans because he has failed to deliver such precious equity. It can’t be his fault, after all. NBC offered aid and comfort in declaring, “Where the administration fell short, it was not for lack of effort.” Nice try.
So, here is the essence of Biden’s argument: it’s white people’s fault that not enough people are getting the jab. Too many whites and not enough blacks have been vaccinated. But it’s white people who are responsible for spreading the virus. Talk about circular logic.
As has often been said, it’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool, as Biden did when running for president, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt, as he has done since becoming president. In light of his shameful exit from Afghanistan, collapsing confidence in his economic and border policies, and the growing specter of damaging inflation, Joe Biden should realize it would be better to stay quiet than draw attention to another entry on his growing list of failures. Instead, he has once again forfeited the mantle of leadership by further balkanizing a divided people with crippling decrees – while blaming everyone but himself.
Read more from Tim Donner.