Chuck Todd of NBC challenged President Biden on how he handled the coronavirus outbreak, in particular considering the new omicron variant which has prompted White House to prohibit travel from certain African countries beginning Monday.
Todd, the host on “Meet the Press,” said that the most common form of omicron in the region was found in southern Africa. It wasn’t just an issue with health. The current administration has to deal with it, Todd argued. He flashed back at the time that Biden prematurely declared some sort of victory against the virus in July 4.
Todd declared Sunday, “Ultimately this is also an issue of political politics.” “Biden ran on fighting the pandemic. He declared injunction against the virus earlier this year.”
BIDEN PROMISED TO ‘SHUT DOWN’ COVID, BUT OMICRON VARIANT POSES NEW CHALLENGE FOR ADMIN
Biden stated that the U.S. has “upper hand”, having defeated the coronavirus on the South Lawn of the White House in 2021. The highly contagious Delta variant quickly spread across the country, resulting in hundreds of thousands more infection. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more Americans died of the disease in 2021 than they did in 2020.
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Todd stated more the same on NBC’s Sunday Today. He told Willie Geist earlier that Biden had not been leading properly in fighting the virus.
Todd explained that “One thing about his COVID reaction, over the last few months, it is possible to argue he hasn’t been the Face of the COVID Response, not in an some time.” “Not really since we declared our – back in July, when he declared our independence from the virus, obviously prematurely.”
Todd pointed out Republican politicians that have opposed vaccine mandates. Biden should use his “bully pulpit”, he said, to counter “vaccine misinformation”. He will not be able to pass his political agenda until he does.
Todd explained that this is “a reminder that he needs be more front-and center on the COVID Response than he was so far.”
Omicron is the latest strain of virus that has been identified in 10 countries. Experts describe it as extremely contagious but it remains to be determined if severe symptoms are present. Angelique Coetzee is a South African Medical Association board member who reported it first. She said that the variant presents mild but unusual symptoms.
Omicron is still not known to have been in any cases documented in the U.S. However, experts suggest it might be in the country. Friday’s announcement by the Biden administration that South Africa was being restricted from travel to seven other countries (Botswana Zimbabwe Namibia Lesotho Eswatini Mozambique Malawi and Namibia), came as a surprise.
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Biden stated previously that Trump’s ban on travel from China because of a pandemic had been “xenophobic.”
“We need to lead the way with science – not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia and fear-mongering,” Biden tweeted at the time.