ABC Grills Biden on Covid ‘Failure’: ‘How Did You Get It Wrong?’

President Biden must have been as shocked as anyone watching that ABC World News Tonight anchor David Muir gave him a hard time on his poor handling of the Covid pandemic, during their Wednesday interview. There was little room for Biden to maneuver as Muir pressed him on the lack of testing availability ahead of Christmas and the lack of forward vision of a new variant like Omicron showing up on the scene.

After discussing the FDA’s approval of Pfizer’s anti-Covid pill and how the administration purchased millions of them, Muir drilled down on the lack of testing available to the public just before Christmas:

MUIR: But three days before Christmas, if you look out across the country, you see it everywhere, these long lines, people waiting for hours outside in the cold, just to get tested to —

BIDEN: Yep.

MUIR: — be reassured before they spend time with their family.

BIDEN: Yeah.

MUIR: I saw it in Washington today coming to the White House. If you go to the pharmacy, we hear this over and over again, empty shelves, no test kits. Is that a failure?

BIDEN: No, I don’t think it’s a failure. I think it’s — you could argue that we should have known a year ago, six months ago, two months ago, a month ago.

After Biden confused the pills with the tests, Muir went back to the administration’s lack of preparedness “nearly two years into this pandemic, you’re a year into the presidency” resulting in “empty shelves and no test kits in some places three days before Christmas when it’s so important.” “Is that good enough,” he wanted to know.

“No, nothing’s been good enough,” Biden bizarrely admitted. He then argued things have gotten better with him in office, suggesting people were only able to gather for Christmas this year. “We couldn’t do that last Christmas,” he asserted.

Back in reality, millions of Americans traveled and gathered for Christmas in 2020.

A short time later, Muir brought up the President’s ill-fated Fourth of July promise that the pandemic was almost over:

MUIR: Let me ask you about what you said on July 4th. I know you remember it well. You told the American people we’re closer than ever to our Independence from a deadly virus. Do you think you overpromised?

BIDEN: No, we were closer than ever, but there’s a lot we don’t know.

After Muir asked and Biden agreed that we’re “chasing omicron instead of being ahead of it,” the ABC anchor seemed to place the blame in Biden’s lap:

MUIR: The Vice President [Kamala Harris] said in recent days that you didn’t see Delta coming, you didn’t see Omicron coming. How did you get it wrong?

BIDEN: [Laughter] How did we get it wrong? Nobody saw it coming. Nobody in the whole world. Who saw it coming?

“So, did the administration not expect that there could be moments like this one where you’d have a highly transmissible variant that’s possible around the corner,” Muir clarified his question. To which, Biden suggested that “sure” the administration expected something like Omicron to come around.

So, the admiration expected this exact thing to happen and still botched the execution. Where have we seen that before? On that’s right, the Afghanistan withdrawal.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
December 22, 2021
6:34:43 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: Just before we sat down together here that omicron has now been detected in all 50 states. And you told the American people just yesterday that we are prepared for what’s coming. But three days before Christmas, if you look out across the country, you see it everywhere, these long lines, people waiting for hours outside in the cold, just to get tested to —

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Yep.

MUIR: — be reassured before they spend time with their family.

BIDEN: Yeah.

MUIR: I saw it in Washington today coming to the White House. If you go to the pharmacy, we hear this over and over again, empty shelves, no test kits. Is that a failure?

BIDEN: No, I don’t think it’s a failure. I think it’s — you could argue that we should have known a year ago, six months ago, two months ago, a month ago. I’ve ordered half a billion of the pills, 500 million pills — excuse me. 500 million test kits that are going to be available to be sent to every home in America of anybody who wants them.

But the answer is yeah, I wish I had thought about ordering a half a billion pills two months ago before Covid hit here.

MUIR: But we’re nearly two years into this pandemic, you’re a year into the presidency, empty shelves and no test kits in some places three days before Christmas when it’s so important. Is that good enough?

BIDEN: No, nothing’s been good enough. But look, look where we are. When — last Christmas, we were in a situation where we had significantly fewer vaccinated — people vaccinated. Emergency rooms were filled. You had serious backups in hospitals that were causing great difficulties.

We’re in a situation now where we have 200 million people fully vaccinated. 200 million people fully vaccinated, and we have more than that who have had one shot, at least one shot. And they’re getting these booster shots, as well.

So, we’ve moved along, and we still, the CDC is still saying and my — the docs who advise me on this, they’re still saying, if you are tested, if you know where you are in terms of having gotten the shots, there’s no reason why you can’t get together with your family and your friends. And we couldn’t do that last Christmas.

(…)

6:37:14 p.m. Eastern

MUIR: Let me ask you about what you said on July 4th. I know you remember it well. You told the American people we’re closer than ever to our Independence from a deadly virus. Do you think you overpromised?

BIDEN: No, we were closer than ever, but there’s a lot we don’t know. It’s like, I’m sure you’re going to ask me when is this going to end? How are we going to do this? Are we certainly going to be able to overcome the Delta — excuse me — the virus, Covid-19?

The answer is, the expectation is yes, because we have the best scientists in the world. We move so rapidly compared to other countries. But we don’t know, we don’t know for certain, so —

MUIR: What would you say to some Americans who might say this feels like we’re chasing omicron instead of being ahead of it, fully prepared for it?

BIDNE: Well, look, Omicron only really came on the scene just before Thanksgiving. We weren’t talking about Omicron six months ago. But it’s just recent. And so we are chasing Omicron. But the fact of the matter is, you’re chasing whatever comes on the scene that hadn’t, wasn’t there before, and this wasn’t there this last summer for example.

MUIR: The Vice President [Kamala Harris] said in recent days that you didn’t see Delta coming, you didn’t see Omicron coming. How did you get it wrong?

BIDEN: [Laughter] How did we get it wrong? Nobody saw it coming. Nobody in the whole world. Who saw it coming?

MUIR: I guess — I guess what I’m asking is, scientists have long said that when you’re dealing with the coronavirus, Covid-19, that there are going to be mutations. That most likely over time it is going to become very transmissible because this virus is trying to stay alive —

BIDEN: Yes.

MUIR: — trying to survive. So did the administration not expect that there could be moments like this one where you’d have a highly transmissible variant —

BIDEN: Sure.

MUIR: — that’s possible around the corner?

BIDEN: It was possible, and it’s possible there could be other variants that come along. That’s possible. But what do you plan for? You plan for what you think is available, that is most likely threats that exists at the time, and you respond to it.

(…)

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