After seemingly throwing in the towel on prior promises to “shut down” COVID-19 by admitting that “there is no federal solution” to the pandemic, President Joe Biden took his leave from D.C. and headed for his beach home in Delaware for several days of rest and relaxation.
During a meeting Monday with the National Governors Association, Biden appeared to downplay the ability of the federal government to stem the rising tide of coronavirus cases, declaring – to the astonishment of many – that “this gets solved at a state level.”
This surprising revelation came despite Biden’s repeated assertions during the 2020 campaign and beyond that his plan to defeat the virus once and for all stood in stark contrast to the approach adopted by former President Donald Trump and also despite his implementation of sweeping federal vaccine mandates impacting large swaths of the citizenry.
Indeed, current White House chief of staff Ron Klain was among those who blasted Trump back in the summer of 2020 for “confronting a national crisis with an ‘Articles of Confederation’ response,” adding, that “we have a national government for a reason” and that Biden would put it to effective use in this battle.
Deflecting responsibility and shifting the public health burden back to the states, however, Biden this week told the state-level executives, “It ultimately gets down to where the rubber meets the road,” adding that his “message to the governors is simple. If you need something, say something.”
This apparent reversal did not escape the notice of conservative lawmakers on state and federal levels, with the Republican National Committee quickly opining on Twitter, “Joe Biden claimed he would shut down the virus. Now a year later when he failed to do so, he says there is no federal solution to COVID. Joe Biden is a hypocrite.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) slammed the president’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, saying, according to the Daily Mail, “Biden says there’s no federal solution to COVID and that this gets solved at a state level. He should immediately end his unconstitutional federal mandates,” adding that the “Texas solution is no mandates and personal responsibility.”
GOP Sen. Tom Cotton (AR) was equally as biting in his reaction to the admission, asserting, “When Joe Biden says ‘there is no federal solution,’ he’s trying to avoid blame for his incompetence. If he really believes this, he should rescind his unconstitutional federal mandates.”
With the Supreme Court poised to hear arguments on the administration’s vaccine mandates early in the new year, Biden’s unexpected’ abdication of the authority and capacity to problem-solve that he so readily claimed on behalf of the federal government is a curious plot twist, indeed, but perhaps another multi-day break in Rehoboth will get him back in the authoritarian mindset that has guided his decisions since January.