US President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday was a choreographed event meant to portray the COVID-19 pandemic as over. It marked the culmination of a week-long effort by the entire political establishment and corporate media, led by the Democratic Party, to force the American public to “live with the virus” and accepting a “new normal” of endless mass infection, decay and death.
The central focus of Biden’s speech was war in Ukraine, as he portrayed Russian President Vladimir Putin as the villain in a Manichean struggle of good versus evil. For the Biden administration and the Democratic Party, the war is seen as a way to “unify” the country and divert all attention from the immense domestic crisis unleashed by the pandemic.
Despite the fact that the death toll from COVID-19 in the United States is nearing one million and that more than 125,000 Americans have died since the start of the new year, the mainstream media has stopped covering the pandemic and is almost exclusively engaged. to war propaganda. A similar phenomenon has swept across Europe, whose capitalist governments are also implicated in the mass infections and deaths from COVID-19.
But, despite efforts by the political establishment and the media to trick the public into believing the pandemic is over, it is far from the case. On Tuesday, the day Biden spoke, BNO News reported that 1,763 people had lost their lives to COVID-19. The following day, the death toll rose to 2,236.
Almost as many people die each day in the United States as during the peak of the outbreak caused by the Delta variant of COVID-19 in September. Vietnam, South Korea and other countries see record case rates as BA2 variant surges worldwide.
As part of the effort to normalize the pandemic, last Friday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new masking guidelines based on hospital capacity instead of COVID-19 infection rates. The guidelines have been widely denounced by scientists for turning masks into a personal preference rather than a necessary public health measure. On Wednesday, the CDC rescinded its contact tracing recommendations, another important step in removing all COVID-19 mitigation measures in the United States.
The coordinated announcement of the end of masking and contact tracing marks the final implementation of a policy dreamed of by the American political establishment since the start of the pandemic: to end all measures aimed at interrupting the spread of disease, even as thousands needlessly die every day.
CDC masking guidelines have been implemented at the State of the Union, with nearly all attendees maskless. Behind that veneer of normality, everyone present had to have tested negative for COVID-19 that day, a luxury denied in nearly every school and workplace across the United States.
The pandemic, which has deeply affected all Americans for two years, was relegated to about seven minutes in the second half of Biden’s hour-long speech. Not once did he say the words “Omicron”, “Long COVID”, “airborne” or “N95”.
As with Biden’s speech as a whole, his remarks on COVID-19 were a mass of contradictions, lies, and a profound distortion of the current reality of the pandemic.
He began: “For over two years, COVID has impacted every decision in our lives and the life of this nation. And I know you’re tired, frustrated and exhausted. That’s not even counting the nearly a million people who sit at a dining room table or a kitchen table and stare at an empty chair because they’ve lost someone.
This oblique reference to the staggering number of deaths in the United States, which will exceed one million later this month, was Biden’s only acknowledgment of this immense tragedy. He omitted the fact that since he took office on Jan. 20, 2021, more than 535,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, more than the combined total number of U.S. soldiers killed in World War I and World War II. About 15,000 Americans have died each week for the past month, with no end in sight.
As a proven American pragmatist, Biden refused to dwell on the past and quickly moved on, saying, “Tonight I can say we are moving forward safely, back to […] more normal routines. He later added, “COVID-19 no longer needs to control our lives.”
He praised the CDC’s new masking guidelines, saying “most Americans in most of the country can now go mask-free.” Directly contradicting himself, he then said: ‘Because this virus mutates and spreads, we must remain on our guard.
Biden offered a fairy tale description of the future of the pandemic, outlining “four common sense steps as we move forward safely.” The first step will be “vaccines and treatments”.
Clearly having learned nothing from the unprecedented spread of the Omicron variant, Biden said, “The vaccine can stop the spread of these diseases. In fact, for more than a year it has been known that vaccines do not completely protect against COVID-19 infection, but rather primarily against hospitalization and death. The CDC has withheld critical data on breakthrough infections and deaths, but they are known to be not uncommon and can lead to death or a long, debilitating COVID.
Moreover, only 65% of Americans have received two doses of the vaccine. Less than 29% have been boosted, with vaccination rates stuck at just 350,000 a day. Antivirals, although promising, are in very limited supply. Relying solely on vaccines and treatments sets the stage for new infections and mass deaths each time the next variant inevitably evolves.
Faced with huge backlash for the CDC’s new masking recommendations, which put about 7 million immunocompromised Americans at risk, Biden said, “If you’re immunocompromised or have another vulnerability, we have free treatments and masks from high quality. We don’t leave anyone behind or ignore anyone’s needs as we move forward. However, he failed to reconcile this with the fact that every indoor public space will now be unsafe for millions at risk.
The second step in the Biden administration’s plan is to “prepare for new variants.”
Biden promised, “If necessary, we can roll out new vaccines within 100 days instead of maybe months or years,” adding, “I can’t promise that a new variant won’t come, but I can promise you that we’ll do everything in our power to be ready if that’s the case.
He failed to mention that attempts to produce an Omicron-specific vaccine have proven unsuccessful, as well as the fact that the BA.2 Omicron subvariant is growing exponentially in the United States while shattering records for infections, hospitalizations and deaths in Hong Kong, South Korea, Denmark and Iceland, all of which have higher vaccination rates than the United States.
The conception that every time a new variant appears, the correct response is to restart the whole process of vaccinating the world’s population, is absurd. Given the laws of viral evolution, this Sisyphean struggle would go on for years to come, as billions more are needlessly infected and millions die as new vaccines are slowly distributed around the world.
The third and most critical element of Biden’s pandemic future is to “end the closure of schools and businesses.” This is the essence of the “new normal”, which puts the interests of corporations and the financial elite first.
Biden said, “It’s time for America to get back to work and fill our great inner cities with people again. People working from home may feel safe and begin to return to their offices. He added: “Our schools are open. Let’s keep it that way. Our children must be in school. It drew a bipartisan standing ovation.
Biden claimed: “[M]Most Americans can remove their masks and stay in the classroom and move on safely.
It is a lie of monumental proportions. The vast majority of children are still unvaccinated and recent studies indicate that the pediatric vaccine is less effective. During the ongoing Omicron surge, children have been infected, hospitalized and killed at record rates, with the CDC recording 212 child deaths from COVID-19 in February and 84 in the past week alone.
Concluding his four-point plan, Biden said, “We will continue to vaccinate the world. We have sent 475 million doses of vaccines to 112 countries, more than any other country on Earth. He evaded the fact that the United States refused to relinquish intellectual property rights to the Moderna vaccine, which was developed in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Biden’s remarks summed up the contents of a new “National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan” released Wednesday. As with Biden’s first “preparedness plan” released the day after his inauguration, this plan is just hot air. Nearly every aspect of the plan hinges on securing funding from Congress in a weeks-to-months-long process that may never materialize.
While paying lip service to the need to support patients with Long COVID and to improve air filtration systems in schools and public spaces, the central aim of the plan is to ensure that schools and workplaces remain open during future pushes of new variants. He says: “Our way forward hinges on giving schools and businesses the tools they need to prevent economic and educational shutdowns, so our students can stay in school, our workers can be safe on the job. and our economy can continue to grow.”
Everything about indoor ventilation comes down to ‘recommendations’, ‘tips’, ‘checklist’ and ‘technical resources’. Nowhere is there any mention of a legal requirement or funding specifically for this most essential issue.
The “new normal” demanded by Biden and the Democrats, in the footsteps of Trump’s “herd immunity” policies, will only compound the social crimes committed over the past two years. By demanding that the population accept mass death from a preventable disease, the American ruling class is conditioning society to even more unspeakable crimes and massive casualties in a war with Russia.
The objective reality facing hundreds of millions of workers in the United States and billions around the world contradicts the propaganda that the pandemic is over. The main task facing the international working class is to build a mass movement fighting to stop both the pandemic and the escalation of world war.