On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced the good news that, by May, there will be COVID-19 vaccines available for every adult American. The significance of that is obvious: There really is a clear path out of the constricted, pandemic-plagued world we all have lived in for a year.
But, secondarily, it is also another sign of the good story that has underlaid the news every day since Jan. 20: Competence has been restored to the White House. For evidence of that, look no further than the more rational, coordinated approach to fighting the pandemic.
Biden’s predecessor was interested in feeding a torrent of screeds to his Twitter followers. He loved delivering stream-of-consciousness rants at campaign rallies, even years ahead of his next campaign. He was devoted to following the sycophantic commentary on Fox News. And he was always ready to pick a fight with a perceived enemy or give pardons to loyal cronies to break them out of jail. What he had little interest in doing was the hard work of the presidency – things like reading intelligence briefings, finding competent people to run the agencies of government or developing a coherent plan to deal with a pandemic that was killing Americans by the tens of thousands.
We now have a president who is actually interested in doing his job and has the skills to do it right. No longer are we waking up in the morning to dreading news about the president. Instead, we wake up and, if we think of the president at all, it is with confidence that he is not engaged in yet another crazy shenanigan that will humiliate the country.
Here’s one simple illustration of the vast difference in leadership style between Joe Biden and Donald Trump: When Biden and First Lady Jill Biden received their vaccinations, they did it in public to present a good example and encourage the citizens they serve to follow their lead. Trump and his wife, while still in the White House, got their shots in secret. It was as if making the vaccinations public would somehow further undermine the fallacies he peddled for months – lies that convinced a majority of Republicans that the pandemic was not that serious, perhaps even a hoax.
While we wait to celebrate the coming release from COVID-19 restrictions, we can revel in our escape from the ignorance and incompetence of a terrible president.
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