January 4, 2022
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author’s opinion
When President Joe Biden does not want to answer a question or does not know the answer to a question it often shows.
That was the case on Monday when a reporter called him on his previous claim that he was going to issue 500 million free at-home COVID tests.
“When will Americans get those free COVID tests, sir?” a reporter said at the end of Biden’s press briefing to which the president just stared blankly ahead.
“When our family needs them, we can’t get them,” former senior Department of Homeland Security official Ken Cuccinelli said. “Though, to be clear, at this stage and knowing what we have long known, #LetsGoBrandon is right about one thing: there’s not a federal solution.”
Two weeks ago Biden said that the federal government planned to purchase half a billion tests and would mail them to anyone who wanted them.
“We also need to do better with at-home testing. So, I’m announcing today: The federal government will purchase one half billion — that’s not million; billion with a ‘B’ — additional at-home rapid tests, with deliveries starting in January,” he said.
“We’ll be getting these tests to Americans for free. And we’ll have websites where you can get them delivered to your home.
“We have arranged for it to be easier for you to find a free COVID testing site near you on Google. Just enter ‘COVID test near m’” in the Google search bar and you can find a number of different locations nearby where you can get tested,” the president said.
“And we’re going to continue to use the Defense Production Act as we did earlier this month to make sure we’re producing as many tests and as quickly as possible,” he said.
But Biden has said many things. Take a look at this one from 2020 when he was campaigning to be president.
“On March 6th, Donald Trump said: ‘Anybody that wants a test can get a test.’ It was a lie then, and it’s still not true nearly two months later. It’s a disgrace, and it’s slowing efforts to reopen safely. This administration needs to act immediately to surge testing nationwide,” he said in May 2020, near two years ago.
But somehow in his first year in the White House tests are more scarce than they have ever been, which is a main reason why, Politico reported, that there is likely to be a primary challenger to Biden in 2024.
“No one now in office — and none of the top-tier presidential contenders from 2020 — is viewed as a serious prospect to take on Biden. Nor is there any expectation that Sanders or Sen. Elizabeth Warren, both of whom have enjoyed a significant amount of influence in the Biden administration, would primary Biden,” it said. “Instead, liberals believe lesser-known candidates are more likely to primary Biden if he seeks a second term, such as former Sanders campaign co-chair Nina Turner, 2020 presidential candidate Marianne Williamson or millionaire and $18-an-hour minimum wage advocate Joe Sanberg.”
“He’s deeply unpopular. He’s old as s***. He’s largely been ineffective unless we’re counting judges or whatever the hell inside-baseball scorecard we’re using. And I think he’ll probably get demolished in the midterms,” Corbin Trent, co-founder of a progressive PAC and the former communications director for New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said. “People will smell opportunity, and D.C. is filled with people who want to be president.”
Mark Longabaugh, a former consultant for Sen. Bernie Sanders who now makes progressive ads, said Biden should expect a progressive challenger.
“I don’t think the country nor certainly not progressives in the party, who all tend to be younger, are going to sit on the sidelines,” he said.