Apr 16, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Even with COVID-19 and its globally disruptive presence still growing, despite the introduction of multiple vaccines, in one important aspect so far, the world seems to have thankfully emerged from an era over the past few months. Next week will mark three months since Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States and the most notable thing about his Presidency so far is the absence of turmoil and rancor and absurdity and obscenity that marked the full tenure, from start to finish, of that of his predecessor.
Even with the Donald Trump inspired and instigated assault on the capital as a backdrop, Biden’s time in office has been marked by an even-handed, competent, if comparatively tepid rule. Today, not unsurprisingly, the salacious political scandal gripping Washington, DC, is not one coming from the Biden camp, but one linked to the Trump movement. Florida Congressman – and Trump’s most shamelessly enthusiastic shill since Trump’s former ‘fixer’ (now critic) Michael Cohen – Matt Gaetz, has found himself embroiled in a Justice Department investigation, begun under the Trump presidency, linking him to charges of statutory rape and trafficking in persons. Things have gotten so bad for Gaetz that not only are fellow Republicans re-donating to charity funds he donated to their campaigns, but reportedly Trump himself will not meet with him in person.
In contrast, while Biden has not been commanding the media’s attention with the same ‘mastery’ as his predecessor (CNN’s primetime ratings dropped 50 percent almost immediately after Trump left office), what he has been featured in the media for is the precise sort of solid, almost pedestrian, policy initiatives that saw him comfortably beating Trump in last year’s election.
Perhaps there is no greater area of contrast between Biden and Trump than the attitude towards and action on fighting COVID-19, which as of yesterday had taken 566,000 American lives, the equivalent of 72 percent of Guyana’s population. Trump spent much of his Presidency denying the serious of COVID-19 and fighting with respected public health officials like Dr. Anthony Faucci on the measures necessary to combat the pandemic, eventually catching the virus himself – it was only in the final days of his presidency that he sought to rush international pharmaceutical companies to provide a vaccine, more to boost his own failing political fortunes than to boost public immunity to the novel coronavirus. In contrast, Biden’s first two months of his Presidency saw remarkable success in rolling out a public vaccination programme, as he was proud to represent in an address to the country in late March:
“On December 8th, I indicated that I hoped to get 100 million shots in people’s arms in my first 100 days. We met that goal last week by day 58 — 42 days ahead of schedule. Now, today, I’m setting a second goal, and that is: We will, by my 100th day in office, have administered 200 million shots in people’s arms. That’s right: 200 million shots in 100 days. I know it’s ambitious, twice our original goal, but no other country in the world has even come close — not even close — to what we are doing. And I believe we can do it.”
There is of course a far way to go towards correcting the damage and the excesses of the Trump era, as well as fixing long running but metastasizing issues like income inequality (exacerbated by the economic disruption of COVID-19), structural and socially manifest racism, and unabated police violence against African Americans. That said, Biden seems to be engaged in a quiet reconstruction of the American dream, or what has been left of it. As we continue on our own attempt as building our nation, constructing something better than the rubble our own politics has left us in, we can commiserate with the plodding but steady progress being made under Biden so far – one one dutty build dam.
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