MATTHEWS: Joe Biden finally admits he can’t ‘shut down the virus’

President Joe Biden removes his face mask as he arrives to meet with the White House COVID-19 Response Team on the latest developments related to the Omicron variant in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Campus in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Throughout most of 2020, then-Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden promised he was going to “shut down the virus.” 

He made the pledge so often that I lost count. One of the more memorable instances was in a tweet posted on Oct. 30, 2020, just a few days before the election. 

“I’m not going to shut down the country. I’m not going to shut down the economy. I’m going to shut down the virus,” Biden wrote at the time. 

It was reminiscent of a claim made by disgraced former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards in 2004 as failed Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry’s vice-presidential running mate. 

“If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again,” Edwards told a crowd of supporters at an October 2004 rally. 

Though we one day hope that there will be a cure for devastating spinal cord injuries the likes of which Reeves suffered, it’s likely a long way off, and certainly cannot be cured by the magic touch of a presidential candidate. A virus like COVID-19, on the other hand, is something that has to be managed and will never fully go away. It hasn’t gone away in countries that implemented the severest of lockdowns, and it won’t happen here in America, either. 

After the spike in cases from the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which happened after the spike in cases from the Delta variant, Joe Biden finally admitted late last month that “there is no federal solution” to shutting down the virus, during a call with the nation’s governors. 

It was a remarkable statement for Biden to make considering he repeatedly suggested last year that then-President Donald Trump was a failure for not getting the virus under control, though it would be under Trump’s administration that COVID vaccines would be developed in record time. 

Ironically, it was those same vaccines that both Biden and his vice-presidential running mate Kamala Harris deliberately undermined in the fall of 2020, saying they would be hesitant to take them unless a “board of scientists” reviewed them since Trump was, to paraphrase, allegedly “rushing them through.” 

Senior members of his administration including top health advisers like Dr. Anthony Fauci and CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky are marching in lockstep with Biden as well, conveniently loosening guidelines surrounding CDC recommendations on isolation and quarantine periods for those who have been infected or exposed to the virus respectively, admittedly based primarily on economic considerations. 

Biden’s one-year metamorphosis on eradicating the coronavirus has been both quite astonishing and infuriating at the same time, especially when one considers that some of the solutions and admissions that are now being made by these people are things Republicans, including Trump, said last year. They were essentially branded murderers for their observations at the time. 

Why is all this happening? 

Reading between the lines, a major driver behind the CDC changes — in my opinion — was not just economics but also because the “important” people — such as Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren, business leaders, and others who preached to the highest hilt about getting vaccinated, boostered, and who urged people to be willing to make economic “sacrifices” for the greater good — were catching the Omicron variant even though they were the supposedly “safe” types who wouldn’t catch it. 

Of course, they didn’t want to stick to the same rules they demanded others who were infected adhere to. 

Plus, there are political considerations for Joe Biden going into a midterm election year, and it just wouldn’t look good over the next few months for the guy who promised to “shut down the virus” to continue the country on such an unsustainable path, now would it? 

Media analyst Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.