President Biden said he is tired of talking about former President Donald Trump even as he blamed his predecessor for delays in providing coronavirus vaccinations to the public.
Biden used a televised town hall on Tuesday evening to promise he would accelerate the country’s inoculation program and said teachers should be closer to the front of the line so that schools could reopen faster.
But one figure loomed large over the proceedings, much to Biden’s apparent annoyance — and occasional relief.
So when asked by CNN moderator Anderson Cooper for a date when any American who wanted a vaccine could get a vaccine, Biden gave a July timeline before explaining that his administration inherited no stores of doses to accelerate vaccination efforts once it took office.
“We got into office and found out the supply, there was no backlog. I mean there was nothing in the refrigerator … figuratively and literally speaking,” he said.
He is not alone in blaming the Trump administration. While many doctors have praised Trump’s Operation Warp Speed for the fast development of multiple vaccines, they point out that the technical advances were not matched by the complex logistics needed to get shots into arms.
Biden said he took over “a circumstance” where there simply were not enough individuals to give vaccinations and there was little federal guidance on how to administer shots.
But like previous appearances he avoided referring to Trump by name and at one point called him “the former guy.”
With his predecessor’s impeachment trial ending in an acquittal over the weekend, Biden was prepared to use his appearance at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to sell his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package directly to America.
Earlier, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said the president would use the occasion “to have a conversation, engage with the American people about his plans to get the pandemic under control, to put people back to work.”
So the president expressed his annoyance when the questions kept coming back to Trump.
“All that’s been in the news is Trump, the next four years I want to make sure all the news is the American people,” said Biden. “I’m tired of talking about Donald Trump. I don’t want to talk about him anymore.”
In between he managed to make a pitch for the huge scale of his proposals.
“It is estimated that if we pass this bill alone it will create 7 million jobs this year,” he said, to a round of applause as he went on to say now was not the time for half measures.
“I think bigger, and the vast majority of the serious people say,” the president added as Republicans push for a much smaller package, “bigger is better now, not spending less.”
Original Author: Rob Crilly