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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

OPINION:

President Joe Biden had a disastrous day last Friday. It’s hard to imagine how it could have been any worse.

First, the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border exploded. More than 12,000 foreigners flooded the Del Rio Port of Entry along the Texas-Mexico border — so many that thousands crowded under a bridge as U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents tried to handle the mob.


The crisis got so bad that the Office of Field Operations at the port of entry temporarily shut down and re-routed traffic to another entry point “to respond to urgent safety and security needs presented by an influx of migrants into Del Rio and is effective immediately.”

What made the situation different is that the mainstream media finally took notice. But the Biden administration quickly moved to shut down drones flying in an area along the U.S. southern border — which also got reported by the MSM. The effort was swiftly abandoned after reports emerged.

Also, on Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron ordered the nation’s ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia be recalled after the two countries signed a deal that will provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines.

“At the request of President Macron, I have decided to immediately recall our ambassadors to the United States and Australia to Paris for consultations,” Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, said in a statement. “This extraordinary decision reflects the exceptional seriousness of the announcements made on September 15 by Australia and the United States.”

The minister said the countries had been working on the deal since 2016, but Biden abandoned the plan without even telling the French president. The New York Times reported that this is “the first time in the history of the long alliance between France and the United States, dating back to 1778, that a French ambassador has been recalled to Paris in this way for consultations.”

Then in a shocking admission Friday, the Pentagon confirmed that a drone strike in Afghanistan, meant to target members of ISIS-K who planned a deadly attack on the United States military in the waning days of the Afghanistan War, killed ten civilians in a “tragic mistake.”

“The Pentagon acknowledged on Friday that a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan on Aug. 29 that officials said was necessary to prevent an attack on American troops was a tragic mistake that killed ten civilians, including seven children, an American military official familiar with the investigation,” said the Times.

“We now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K or a direct threat to US forces,” head of the United States Central Command Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, added in a video statement during a Pentagon briefing Friday afternoon, calling the incident a “tragic mistake.”

And in one last disaster for Biden on a dismal day, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday rejected recommending a push to give booster shots to most people who had received the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.

“The vote — the first on boosters in the United States — was a blow to the Biden administration’s strategy to make extra shots available to most fully vaccinated adults in the United States eight months after they received a second dose,” The New York Times reported. “The broader rollout was to start next week.”

The committee of experts voted 16-2 against giving Pfizer booster shots to people 16 and older and only endorsed giving the booster shots to “people who are 65 or older or at high risk of severe Covid-19, and received their second dose at least six months ago,” the report added.

“It’s likely beneficial, in my opinion, for the elderly and may eventually be indicated for the general population,” said Dr. Ofer Levy, a vaccine and infectious disease specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital. “I just don’t think we’re there yet in terms of the data.”

The headlines all hit within an hour. But what did Biden do? He left for the beach in the early afternoon on Friday and didn’t return to the White House until Monday afternoon. At one point, he positioned members of the media along a bike path so they could take some action photos, then pedaled away when reporters asked him about France.

“Mr. President, what will you tell Emmanuel Macron?” a reporter asked regarding his scheduled phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, according to the Daily Caller. “When are you going to call Macron?” another reportedly asked Biden.

But Biden’s job approval ratings were already sinking, with one poll showing just 46% of Americans approve of his performance in the White House — with independents’ disapproval of Biden’s job putting him in negative territory.

And while he can dodge reporters, he won’t be able to dodge the polls when they come out this week — and no doubt they’ll plunge yet again. 

• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at jcurl@washingtontimes.com and on Twitter @josephcurl.


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