by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Naomi Lim of the Washington Examiner contrasts President Biden’s light public schedule with his urgent statements about COVID-19.
During President Biden’s campaign, “lid” announcements, meaning he would not be seen the rest of those days, were the source of mirth.
And for a commander in chief who has declared war on the coronavirus pandemic, the president’s weekend schedules so far have failed to adopt that war-like footing.
Biden took his first Air Force One flight as president on Friday, jetting home to Wilmington, Delaware, where he and first lady Jill Biden are expected to stay through Sunday. The trip comes after the White House had a quiet two days last weekend, at least in the public eye.
The Biden campaign’s habit of calling an early “lid,” or informing reporters and news outlets they had no further public events planned, became an easy target of former President Donald Trump, his campaign, and Republican operatives online. It played into their messaging that Biden, the oldest commander in chief to ever be sworn into office, didn’t have the physical stamina or mental capacity for the country’s top job as their guy zigzagged across the country.
Biden may have won, but his weekends out of public view could leave the door open to the same kinds of attacks, especially by traveling back to Delaware only two weeks after moving to Washington, D.C. The trip also conflicts with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance against unnecessary movement following reports that more contagious COVID-19 variants from Brazil, South Africa, and the United Kingdom are spreading stateside. …
… Still, Biden’s weekends could prove problematic if Republicans link it to his war-like rhetoric for fighting the pandemic. …
… The source continued, “Now, as president, Biden set a vaccine distribution goal Trump already reached, imposed mandatory mask policies where they were already observed, and even admitted there’s nothing he can do to change the course of the pandemic. His inaction is disappointing but not surprising.”