by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Joe Biden’s not exactly the Great Communicator, but his team’s messaging on COVID has been a complete disaster. And that’s bad news for the nation, since all the dubious advice and whiplash reversals will only undermine trust — in Biden, the vaccination and America’s recovery.
Fact is, the top priority of Biden and his Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should be clearly communicating to the public that the vaccines work, encouraging all Americans to get jabbed as the highly contagious Delta variant surges.
But after remarks on July 4 “celebrating Independence Day and independence from COVID-?19” — a speech that remains front and center on the White House home page — Biden did a 180 this week, starting Tuesday, backing up the CDC’s recommendation that the vaccinated mask up again indoors because of the contagious Delta variant.
As The Post noted on its Friday front page, the risk of hospitalization and death among the vaccinated is nearly nonexistent: Out of 161 million fully vaccinated Americans, just 5,601 were hospitalized due to COVID as of July 19 — 0.0035 percent. Only 1,141 died, just 0.0007 percent. Given the stark numbers, the CDC acknowledges that there’s simply a “greater risk” of “hospitalization and death” among the unvaccinated.
Going further, CDC chief Rochelle Walensky warned Tuesday that COVID may be “just a few mutations” away from being able “to evade our vaccine in terms of how it protects us from severe disease and death.” Yet that’s highly unlikely; she’s scaring the public needlessly and making the already-vaccine-hesitant question how well the shots work.
Biden did even more damage, snidely saying that “if you’re not vaccinated, you’re not nearly as smart as I thought you were” — as if insulting 100 million Americans will get them on board.