Whether or not the Biden Administration is backing off of vaccine passports (which would be inadvisable, IMO), these devastatingly relevant facts remain:
1. The USA, with just over 4% of the world's population had more confirmed cases and death from Covid-19 than any other nation on earth. More than 20% of all cases worldwide, and more than the combined total of the two most populous nations on earth, China and India, whose combined population is more than 8 times the entire population of the USA. No matter how you try to spin it, there is simply no reasonable or honest way to escape the reality that no government on earth handled the current pandemic worse than did the Trump administration, who was in control at the time.
2. As clearly pointed out by several credible sources like this article in Vanity Fair: How Trump Gutted Obama’s Pandemic-Preparedness Systems:
Trump’s reshuffling of positions and departments, focus on business solutions, downgrading of science, left the country dangerously unprepared for an unprecedented pandemic.
A Huge part of the reason this pandemic has become so horrible is that Trump, who was in charge at its beginning, has an utter disdain for scientists and science in general, especially when they point to and support a reality that Trump finds inconvenient and would rather not believe. As summed up by the author of the above linked to article, Abigail Tracy:“What the administration lacked in February, and still lacks today is articulating an overall strategy for managing this crisis,” a former administration official told me. “There’s a framework in place, we understand what authorities and roles and responsibilities everybody across government has at their disposal to be able to address an emergency. But when you walk through crisis management at a presidential level, the job of the president, first and foremost, is to develop and articulate the end state that we are trying to get to.”
Trump has yet to do this. “President Trump has, throughout this, seemed a little schizophrenic about his role,” Jeremy Konyndyk, a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development who ran USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance in the Obama administration, told me. “On the one hand, he clearly wants all the credit for it when things go right. On the other hand, he has furiously attempted to avoid having to take ownership for the success of the effort…he wants the credit without the accountability.”
The biggest difference between Obama’s approach and Trump has to do with science. “Traditionally, we have had a situation where the response is always scientifically, technically proven,” says a former government official. “Of course there are political considerations. But the options that are presented are fundamentally sound from a scientific perspective.”
In the current situation, the president decides which scientists and governmental organizations are listened to. “We’re seeing that institutions like the FDA and the CDC have been curtailed; their ability to do the right thing has been curtailed,” this person added, noting Food and Drug Administration commissioner Stephen Hahn’s subtle hedge when asked on CNN about Trump’s suggestion that people inject themselves with disinfectants to fight COVID-19. “I certainly wouldn’t recommend the internal ingestion of a disinfectant,” Hahn, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said.
Trump critics are quick to draw contrast between the COVID-19 and Ebola crises. Obama, they assert, was guided by objective facts. “One of the principles [that] President Obama was very clear on when it came to public health crises is you have to be guided by science and facts and speak clearly and consistently and credibly on those issues,” Monaco told me. “That meant, frankly, having public health and medical experts do the communicating.” Monaco recalled Obama’s decision not to issue a travel ban in the midst of the Ebola outbreak as an example of this posture. “President Obama’s view was, we’re not going to be buffeted by the political winds here. We’re going to go with what the scientists and the public health experts tell us is in our best interest,” she said.
See also: Evidence Shows Obama Team Left A Pandemic ‘Game Plan’ For Trump Administration, Which devastatingly debunks Mitch McConnell's allegation that the Obama administration did not provide the Trump administration with any information about the threat of a possible pandemic.The biggest problem she sees today is, “This president doesn’t make decisions based on objective criteria.”
Multiple Obama-era officials have said they left a 2016 “pandemic playbook” that detailed exact steps to take in the event of an infectious disease outbreak. The White House press secretary even held up the actual document on the White House lawn.
There has been discussion in recent days as to whether the Obama plan was dated because it dealt with lessons learned from earlier outbreaks that may not apply to the current pandemic. Still, McConnell’s statement focused only on whether any such “game plan” existed, and ample evidence suggests it did.
We rate it Pants on Fire.