Joe Biden’s speech on COVID was bizarrely incoherent.
He told the American people without qualification that fully vaccinated people are at incredibly low risk: “Only 1 out of every 160,000 fully vaccinated Americans was hospitalized for COVID per day.”
Then he promised to shield them against the evil people who are threatening their very lives: “We’re going to protect the vaccinated from unvaccinated coworkers.”
But Joe, you just said the vaccinated were already protected!
The danger in what Biden himself called an “epidemic of the unvaccinated” is to the unvaccinated. That is what all the data show. Ninety-nine percent of the hospitalizations and more than 99 percent of the deaths from the Delta variant are among the unvaccinated.
More than 200 million Americans have been at least partially vaccinated — 73 percent of the 12-and-over population that is allowed to get the shot. Sixty-three percent are fully vaccinated; that number will close in on 75 percent by the end of September.
What’s happening with the Delta variant is terrible, and Biden spent a lot of the speech importuning the unvaccinated to get the shot. They should. If they don’t, they’re incredibly stupid, and yes, this means you.
But it’s not a crime to be stupid, or to be a foolish parent. People do self-destructive things all the time. Last year, when people did self-destructive things in relation to COVID, it was genuinely threatening to others because there was no vaccine.
Now there is, and it works, and it saves you.
Even so, Biden has gone all in on a six-pillar strategy to combat the scourge of the Delta variant, adopting a weirdly pessimistic tone: “The path ahead,” he informed us, “is not nearly as bad as last winter.” This is a sign that the talk was aimed at a very specific population, and it wasn’t the unvaccinated, toward whom he showed very little save contempt.
No, this speech was a Rube Goldberg message aimed at neurotic vaccinated people. Biden was saying that they shouldn’t worry . . . but if they’re worried, their worries are justified.
Oh, and don’t worry, worriers, he was also announcing he’s going to take actions that are likely unconstitutional — using powers the courts have repeatedly said were beyond the scope of presidential authority to compel private businesses to act as he wishes them to act.
And why? Well, to ease the very worries he had just tried to convince all of us are actually unnecessary.
Well, it’s one way to try to change the subject from Afghanistan.