One year ago yesterday, the NBA suspended its season, Tom Hanks tested positive for a novel coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned a congressional committee that things were going to get much worse, and the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a “pandemic.” President Trump would not admit publicly that the pandemic was “bad” until March 16, and most of us were still blithely going about our lives, albeit with a slightly heightened sense of dread. Today, more than half a million Americans are dead.
On Thursday, President Biden commemorated yet another somber COVID-related anniversary with a speech, delivered in a hushed, reverent manner that seems like a deliberate rebuttal of his predecessor’s demented incapacity for empathy.
Other aspects of Biden’s speech stood in direct contrast to his predecessor as well. Rather than peppering his speech with racist dog-whistling about the origins of the virus (ie “China Flu”), Biden took time to condemn a recent spate of attacks against Asian Americans, calling the violence “wrong” and “un-American.”