Republicans wasted no time slamming Joe Biden after the flip-flopping president said ‘there is no federal solution’ to combatting COVID-19 on Monday despite draconian measures that have included federal mask and vaccine mandates.
The GOP, citing a comment Biden made in October 2020, released a tweet implying the president did an about-face on his commitment to battling the pandemic, which has .come back with a vengeance with the highest amount of cases in a day since January – before vaccines were created.
‘BIDEN, TODAY: ‘There is no federal solution’ to COVID,’ the Republican National Committee tweeted, and included footage of the president from Monday’s meeting with 25 governors.
‘BIDEN, 2020: ‘I’m going to shut down the virus.’
The president’s comments came as the CDC cut in half isolation restrictions for Americans who catch the COVID from 10 to five days, and similarly shortened the time that close contacts need to quarantine.
The restrictions come as several industries face staff shortages caused by the federal mandates and the administration’s failure to provide adequate testing.
Biden’s supporters quickly rushed to his defense, alleging Republicans took his remarks out of context.
‘This deceptively-edited clip put out by the RNC and several GOP Members of Congress of Biden [sic] today creates the false impression that Biden is giving up on battling COVID,’ defense attorney Ron Filipkowski said. ‘This is a total lie’.
Filipkowski claimed the now-viral clip of Biden was ‘a total lie’ and edited to suggest he is ‘quitting on dealing with COVID and just throwing it to the states.’
Biden’s remark came during a meeting with 25 of the nation’s governors – a mix of Republicans and Democrats – where he addressed the ongoing pandemic.
He told the governors that there was ‘no federal solution’ to the Omicron variant causing cases to spike around the country, saying the solution was solidly on the ‘state level.’
His message to governors was: ‘If you need something, say something. We are going to have your back.’
Echoing the RNC’s sentiment, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott blasted Biden’s handling of the pandemic.
‘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,’ Abbott argued. ‘The Texas solution is no mandates and personal responsibility.’
Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, also accused the president of implementing illegal mandates and blamed his ‘incompetence’ for the surging virus.
‘When Joe Biden says “there is no federal solution,” he’s trying to avoid blame for his incompetence,’ Cotton tweeted.
‘If he really believes this, he should rescind his unconstitutional federal mandates.’
Cotton then argued that although there is ‘no federal solution,’ there are steps the president could take to combat COVID.
‘Biden opened the border, botched testing, and outsourced CDC’s guidance to the teachers’ unions,’ he stated.
‘There’s no federal solution, but the fed government can help by securing the border, approving safe treatments & tests, and appointing competent leaders at the FDA & CDC.’
North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn – the youngest member of Congress – also chimed in on Biden’s handling of the virus.
‘Joe Biden blames the unvaccinated for COVID more than he blames China,’ said Cawthorn, a Republican from North Carolina.
Congressional candidate Buzz Patterson, also from North Carolina, offered his two sense on the situation: ‘Biden surrendered on the border, surrendered to the Squad, surrendered to the Taliban, and just surrendered to COVID.’
‘Don’t worry, he’s safely ensconced in his beach home. Sleep well.’
© Provided by Daily MailRep. Tom Cotton (pictured) and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott were among those who blasted Biden over his handling of the pandemic
Despite the GOP’s efforts, Biden’s supporters poked holes in the video and rushed to his defense.
‘Driving home the undeniable truth that conservatives will cry no matter what,’ tweeted Marty Shannon.
‘So certain states fight, tooth and nail any mitigation measures by the feds, then complain Biden won’t help then,’ argued @realFireblazes.
Other Twitter users reiterated the importance of following the science, such as masking, social distancing and getting vaccinated.
One user, an apparent doctor, pushed for vaccinations by citing mortality rates.
‘COVID-19 mortality rates are 2-6 times higher in states that voted for Trump,’ Hugh G. Merriman, MD wrote.
During Monday’s meeting, Biden admitted that his administration has not done enough to ease the COVID testing demand, vowing to do better.
He acknowledged the long lines around the country as people sought to get a COVID test ahead of the holidays, saying ‘clearly’ his administration has more work to do.
‘That’s not enough. Clearly not enough,’ Biden said, adding: ‘We have to do more. We have to do better. And we will.’
The president joined his COVID-19 Response Team’s meeting with the governors for the first time Monday. After the meeting, Biden told reporters the governors had thanked him for his work.
‘They didn’t tell me they’re worried but they thanked me for the cooperation they’re getting. They said they’ve gotten all that they need. They just want to know what we think is gonna happen from here,’ he said, adding ‘there were no complaints, a lot of cooperation.’
He spoke with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House as he and Jill Biden departed for Rehoboth Beach, where the first couple will spend a few days at his family home in Delaware for New Year’s.
The president also denied a report in Vanity Fair that his administration, back in October, rejected a plan for more at-home COVID tests that called for an estimated 732 million tests per month. The plan also recommended a nationwide ‘Testing Surge to Prevent Holiday COVID Surge.’
‘We didn’t reject it,’ Biden said.
Biden joined the virtual meeting with the governors to discuss their needs to combat the Omicron variant as cases continue to rise and testing kits remain in demand. He acknowledged the testing shortage around the country in his opening remarks.
‘Seeing how tough it was for some folks to get a test this weekend shows that we have more work to do,’ he said.
© Provided by Daily MailPresident Biden said his administration will do more to ease COVID testing lines and that more testing centers were coming
Biden argued, when he took office in January ‘we had no – zero – over-the-counter home test in the United States. None.’
‘Now there are more than 20,000 places to get tested for free,’ he said.
He said more testing sites were coming.
‘I know the lines have gotten very long in some states. That’s why I ordered FEMA to set up pop up sites in places with high demand to shorten the wait. We stood up 60 of sites in New York City in five days and there are more coming,’ he told the governors.
He also said his administration worked with Google ‘so you can now search COVID test near me on google to find a location.’
Biden’s meeting comes as his administration faces criticism for a shortage of COVID tests as Americans rushed to get tested ahead of the holiday season.
With demand high and shelves emptying out of stock, some retailers have placed limits on how many at-home testing kits can be purchased at a time. CVS has a limit of six test kits per purchase both in stores and online while Walgreens limits it to four kits.
‘You know, testing has always been an issue … that has been problematic. It has been compounded by the situation of the high demands,’ Biden’s COVID tsar, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told CNN.
‘We had a conflation of high demands — high demands because of the concern about Omicron which is a justifiable concern, but the high demand that was triggered by the holiday season, people getting ready to travel getting ready to go and mix with family members and friends. It’s been a very, very strong run on testing.’
The Biden administration has announced plans to help quell this demand, distributing 500,000 at-home COVID tests to Americans in January.
Fauci also stated he expects more tests to be available next month.
‘We’ve obviously got to do better,’ Fauci said Sunday on ABC’s This Week. ‘I think things will improve greatly as we get into January, but that doesn’t help us today and tomorrow.’
© Provided by Daily MailAmerica is currently averaging 198,326 cases every day, an 68 percent increase over the past two weeks
© Provided by Daily MailThe US has not recorded a higher seven day case average since January 19, the backside of the nation’s most devastating COVID surge to date
© Provided by Daily MailBoth hospitalizations and deaths have remained steady in recent weeks, not rising at the same pace as cases
COVID cases in the US have exploded over the past two weeks, as the newly discovered Omicron strain begins to take hold in the country.
America is currently averaging 198,326 cases every day, a 68 percent increase over the past two weeks. Deaths and hospitalizations have not followed, though.
The US has not recorded a higher seven-day case average since January 19, the backside of the nation’s most devastating COVID surge to date.
The country is averaging 71,302 hospitalizations every day, only an eight percent increase over two weeks. Deaths are up three percent during that time span to 1,328 per day.
This could be a signal of the Omicron variant – which accounts for 73 percent of cases in the US, according to most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – being more mild than other strains.
Deaths and hospitalizations do lag behind cases, though, and a similar spike could be seen in those metrics soon as well, though.
Despite the surge, US health officials on Monday cut isolation restrictions for Americans who catch the coronavirus from 10 to five days, and similarly shortened the time that close contacts need to quarantine.
CDC officials said the guidance is in keeping with growing evidence that people with the coronavirus are most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptoms develop.
The quarantine guidance is not a mandate; it’s a recommendation to employers and state and local officials.
Last week, New York state said it would expand on the CDC’s guidance for health-care workers to include employees who have other critical jobs that are facing a severe staffing shortage.
The new recommendations said workers could go back to work after seven days if they test negative and don’t have symptoms. The agency said isolation time could be cut to five days, or even fewer, if there are severe staffing shortages.
Meanwhile, Americans have been told by Fauci to cancel big parties as the Omicron variant tears across the nation.
Daily cases have spiked in recent weeks, up 68 percent over the past two weeks, and America’s top infectious disease expert warns that things will only worsen in the near future.
Fauci told ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA) that the surge may only be beginning, and that Americans should expect the situation to exacerbate over the coming weeks.
‘It’s going to get worse before it gets better. That’s for sure,’ he said.
We don’t expect things are going to turn around in a few days to a week. It likely will take much longer than that. But that’s unpredictable.’
© Provided by Daily MailThe Omicron variant, which was first discovered by South African health officials in late November, is the most mutated COVID strain yet. It has more than 50 mutations, including 37 on the spike protein targeted by the COVID vaccines
© Provided by Daily MailThe US has confirmed 8,333 cases of the variant as of Monday morning, though the real case figure is much higher
© Provided by Daily MailAccording to CDC data, 72 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID, and 64.5 million people have received their booster shot
Fauci says it’s not possible to predict when the Omicron variant surge will come to an end because different countries have seen varied patterns.
‘Each demography of a country is different,’ he said.
The Omicron variant, which was first discovered by South African health officials in late November, is the most mutated COVID strain yet.
It has more than 50 mutations, including 37 on the spike protein targeted by the COVID vaccines.
The US has confirmed 8,333 cases of the variant as of Monday morning, though the real case figure is much higher. Only two other countries have confirmed more cases.
Research performed by vaccine manufacturers and independent health experts have repeatedly found that the initial vaccine regimens – two shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – are not effective at preventing infection from the variant.
Additional booster doses of the Pfizer and Moderna jabs can re-establish protection, though. According to CDC data, 72 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID, and 64.5 million people have received their booster shot.