President Biden gave his speech (cough, cough) on what my friend Kevin Roche refers to as the the Moronic Variant yesterday. He read from the teleprompter in his accustomed style and even took a few questions at the conclusion of his remarks. The White House has posted a transcript under the heading “Remarks by President Biden on the Fight Against COVID-19.”
Having attributed responsibility for the Covid deaths that occurred last year to President Trump — I thought that was insanely stupid, but that what he did — Biden is in a bad spot now. Deaths attributed to the epidemic this year are set to exceed deaths last year. He promised to stop the virus and he has failed. Now he’s blaming and shaming and talking. Lots of talking. It doesn’t all add up, but he has achieved a limited form of clarity.
Biden’s approach to the epidemic is focused on the vaccines developed under the auspices of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed. He credited “the prior administration” in his remarks yesterday. That represents progress of a kind.
Biden specifically disavowed the lockdown approach to mitigation. That too represents progress of a kind.
It is less painful to take in Biden’s remarks by reading the text than by watching them live or on video recording. In this case, however, the video provides some additional information. Biden does not appear to be well. Psychedelic press secretary Jen Psaki nevertheless assured us that Biden is “asymptomatic.” So there is that.
Coincidentally, I met with Kevin Roche on Monday to debrief him on what he calls “the Moronic Variant.” (He explains that “Moronic” is an anagram of Omicron.) I urged him to post a summary of his current thoughts. He has accommodated me with “The Moronic Response to the Moronic Variant.” Yesterday morning Kevin also appeared at the top of the second hour on Justice & Drew to share his thoughts on where we are now (in podcast form below).