As the Biden administration approaches the end of its first year in office since the defeat of Donald Trump in the November 2020 Presidential election, it is plummeting in popularity. A Rasmussen poll last week showed a 58% disapproval rate. They have also lost several barometer electoral contests in states like Virginia and New Jersey and are doing much less well on economic issues than the previous administration.
The violence in what are effectively one-party Democrat controlled cities such as Chicago are also reaching new levels. There had already been more people murdered in Chicago by last weekend than the 803 victims in 2020. There are fears that the numbers may even come close to Chicago’s worst ever year during the 1996 crack epidemic.
Other large cities such as Philadelphia, Louisville and Austin have recorded historically high numbers of murders before the year’s end. Among the cities experiencing seemingly out of control crime are Portland which had become a talismanic centre for extreme leftist anarchy backed by Democrat supported demands to “defund the police” when that was part of the campaign to depose Trump.
The Democrats were also happy to seek to place the blame for Covid deaths on Donald Trump but are now clearly in something approaching panic mode as the Omicron variant poses them with similar problems to our own and other governments which have doubled down on restrictions and vaccines.
The situation in the United States is complicated by the fact that there are states in which some local Republican controlled authorities have taken a much less draconian approach and where the evidence to date suggests that they have been coping better than cities and states where restrictions and mandates are the order of the day.
(Covid case hot spots (to December 17)
The map of case numbers in fact pretty closely matches that of the contrast between Blue (Democrat majority) and Red (Republican) controlled states. There may be other factors such as seasonal weather and even urban density but there is a paucity of evidence to suggest the more restrictive regimes are working.
The latest response of the White House to the ongoing crisis has been similar to the deflection tactics we have seen here and in other European countries: target the unvaccinated. In an interview on Friday with the Los Angeles Times, Vice President Kamala Harris admitted that the administration had not been able to deal effectively with the virus – which Joe Biden seemed to suggest had been overcome in the Summer – but chose to focus on “misinformation” and the “unvaccinated” as the reasons why they had not “defeated” Covid-19.
The most bizarre and even disturbing twist in this narrative came on Friday when the White House hosted a press briefing featuring Doctors Walensky and Fauci. They were introduced by Jeffrey Zients who is the administration Coronavirus Response Coordinator who certainly did not mix his words.
After referring to the likelihood that the Omicron variant will lead to a further increase in case numbers, Zients expressed his confidence in the vaccine programme and while admitting that the evidence is that people who have been vaccinated and boosted may contract the virus, that their symptoms are likely to be “asymptomatic or mild.” Which has generally been the case with regard to Omicron regardless of vaccination status in terms of its health implications.
Then he launched into a Christmas homily for the unvaccinated:
You could probably imagine some of our own Covidcrats thinking to themselves “Oh God, I wish I’d been let say that.” It is certainly the subtext for much of the public discourse now, even though Ireland – with miniscule numbers of unvaxxed adults in comparison to perhaps 30% in the United States – can hardly use this as the main prong of public strategy.
Or so you might imagine, but that would be to underestimate both the massive popularity of that narrative as underlined by the sort of queues for boosters seen at the weekend, and also the extent to which people do not really take into account actual statistical evidence once they have had their mind made up. Even if it has been made up for them by others.
The late great Tom T. Hall who passed away in August wrote of the 1960s in the United States that it “really was a crazy time.” Hopefully one day when, or if, all of this passes too we might look back on this crazy time and shake our heads at some of what was taken to be the way we ought to conduct ourselves.
I am so sure.