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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

OPINION:

As a candidate, Joe Biden promised Americans that he would bring about a swift end to the coronavirus pandemic. Time and again, Mr. Biden told us he had a secret plan to “shut down the virus.” More than 10 months into his presidency, we know those were nothing more than the same partisan lies he has been telling for decades.

Last month we learned that more Americans have died of COVID-19 since Mr. Biden took office than in all of 2020. He managed to reach that grim milestone despite inheriting life-saving vaccines from President Donald Trump’s groundbreaking Operation Warp Speed. Mr. Biden also had the advantage of more than 980,000 vaccine doses going into Americans’ arms each day by his inauguration thanks to the distribution plan Mr. Trump put in place, progress Mr. Biden falsely tried to take credit for.


As the numbers make clear, Mr. Biden has always been a man without a plan on combatting the coronavirus. During the 2020 campaign, he cynically used COVID-19 as a political football, preying on people’s fears and making promises no politician could keep. Mr. Biden was even willing to stoop as low as irresponsibly spreading doubts about the vaccines’ safety in a cheap attempt to score political points.

Then once he became president, Mr. Biden spiked the ball early by claiming victory over the virus. He did so even as he missed his own vaccination goals, and COVID-19 cases started surging to levels not seen in months. Americans are wise to Mr. Biden’s broken promises and hold him accountable for his failure to contain the virus. For the first time, more voters disapprove of the president’s handling of the pandemic than approve.

But instead of owning up to his failures, Mr. Biden is trying to do what he always does: pass blame and inflame divisions. Look no further than the unconstitutional vaccine mandate he is trying to force on Americans.

The president hasn’t shut down the virus like promised, and so he wants to punish small businesses and fire frontline workers who won’t go along with the federal government’s intrusion into what should be a personal medical decision.

Mr. Biden should know his forced vaccine decree is a terrible idea. When Democrat politicians have imposed similar vaccine mandates on the local level, the results have been disastrous. Wait times for response calls have gone up because police officers are leaving the force. Critical community resources like firehouses and hospitals are left short-staffed or closed entirely.

Also, never mind that for months the president insisted that forced vaccinations wouldn’t be coming. Fortunately, the Republican National Committee is suing the Biden administration over this brazen, authoritarian overreach to protect Americans’ individual liberties.

Forced vaccinations aren’t the only policy area where Mr. Biden has shown himself to be a total hypocrite. With the news of the omicron variant, Mr. Biden is enacting exactly the kind of travel restrictions that he derided President Trump as “xenophobic” for implementing.

What’s worse, big-government bureaucrats like Anthony Fauci are leaving the door open to the possibility of more lockdowns. New York Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul is seizing on the news and has already granted herself expanded emergency powers.

That’s the Democrat playbook in a nutshell: Use the ongoing pandemic as an excuse to impose more heavy-handed mandates and put more power in their own hands. The American people aren’t going to stand for it.

Republican leaders in states like Texas and Florida have been showing the rest of America how to responsibly keep schools open, businesses running and their workers employed. In fact, out of the top 20 states for jobs recovered since the start of the pandemic, 17 have Republican governors. Meaningfully, their COVID-19 cases are no worse — and in many cases are better — than in states with those Democratic governors who implemented unscientific lockdowns that crushed their economies.

As we head into 2022, Mr. Biden should look to Republican-run states for advice on how to get results as he looks to recover his plummeting poll numbers. Another place Mr. Biden could look is to the words of Harry Truman, another Democrat president. It was Mr. Truman who famously said the “buck stops here.” Whether it is on COVID-19, skyrocketing prices or the crisis at our southern border, it is long past time Mr. Biden starts taking some responsibility for his failures. It’s time for the president to stop blaming others and start implementing commonsense policies that put Americans first.

• Tommy Hicks Jr. is co-chair of the Republican National Committee.


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