By Dominic Patten
Senior Editor, Legal & TV Critic
Joe Biden aimed today to assure Americans that the nation can weather the frantic surge of the Covid-19 virus. In doing so, a stern President verbally linked arms with his predominant political foe to pull the unvaccinated into the tent and put his Rupert Murdoch-employed critics on the hot seat.
“Over 60 million Americans, including 62% of elderly seniors, our most vulnerable group, have gotten their booster shots,” an often emotional Biden said in an address from the White House on Tuesday. “I got my booster shot as soon as they were available, and just the other day, former President Trump announced that he had gotten his booster shot,” the Democrat added of the former Celebrity Apprentice host, throwing out praise to the “previous administration” for getting vaccines to Americans
“Maybe one of the few things he and I agree on” Biden went on to say with somewhat-gritted teeth. It should be noted that when Trump made it public last week at an even in Texas that he had had his third shot, the paying MAGA crowd booed.
Built up as another major thrust in the sometimes-scrambling administration’s efforts to contain the virus and convince political opponents to get the jab, Biden’s remarks were covered live on all the broadcast networks, plus CNN, MSNBC, BBC World and Fox News on Tuesday.
“We should all be concerned about Omicron, but not panicked,” Biden noted earlier in his speech.
“If you’re fully vaccinated and especially if you got your booster shot, you are highly protected,” the frequently-coughing or throat-clearing president stated seeking to stress calm. “This is not March of 2020, 200 million people are fully vaccinated. We’re prepared, we know more, we just have to stay focused,” he said.
Biden announced a further tactic to get more shots in arms and more tests in homes today: The White House has purchased half a billion rapid tests for Americans. Those at-home tests will be distributed in early 2022.
Of course, fresh off a court victory for his embattled vaccine mandate order, long time Beltway insider Biden wasn’t all about being fluffy Uncle Joe this potentially deadly Christmas.
“Look, the unvaccinated are responsible for their own choices, but those choices have been fueled by dangerous misinformation on cable TV and social media,” POTUS pointed out in a direct but unspoken hit on Fox News and the scolding likes of Tucker Carlson.
You know, these companies and personalities are making money by peddling lies and allowing misinformation that can kill their own customers and their own supporters,” he said. “It’s wrong, it’s immoral! I call on the purveyor of these lies and misinformation: Stop it. Stop it now.”
With the pandemic closing in on the two-year mark, the President’s speech comes as just hours after the first verified death from the Omicron strain has occurred in America.
An unvaccinated middle age man in Texas died after testing positive for the new-ish variant. As Omicron has quickly become the dominant strain in the US, the fact that the Harris County man in question had Covid previously reveals more about the strength of the variant.
Correspondingly, Broadway shows and the NHL games have begun to be shuttered out of caution and in reaction to outbreaks. Incoming New York Mayor, Eric Adams has hit the pause button on his January 1 swearing in ceremony because of Omicron concerns
All over the holiday-celebrating nation, cases are spiking and new restrictions are being contemplated in various jurisdictions. Battling breakthrough infections among the vaccinated, including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, medical authorities are starting to fray as more and more cases amongst the unvaccinated burn up already stretched resources.
“I know you’re tired, I really mean this, I know you’re frustrated, we all want this to be over, but we’re still in it,” said Biden at the conclusion of his remarks today. “This is a critical moment,” he declared.
“As we head into the holidays, I want us all to keep the faith.”
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