Damage control: White House backtracks on Kamala's claim that they didn't see COVID variants coming

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Clean up on aisle 46. A White House official is on damage control duty for the vice president after her remarks to the Los Angeles Times. During an interview, Kamala admitted that the Biden administration was taken by surprise by the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19. An official now says what Kamala meant to say was that the administration didn’t see the specific mutations coming.

Is that reassuring, though? Kamala told the Los Angeles Times that the administration couldn’t claim victory over the coronavirus and that’s true. Biden declared that COVID-19 no longer controlled our lives during his July 4 address. We know how wrong of a statement that was now. He was looking for a victory lap to take and it backfired. Now Kamala is telling the press that the administration was caught flat-footed by both the Delta and Omicron variants.

A White House official says that they knew the mutations were possible and that’s why the administration ordered extra tests, extra gear, and extra PPE. That’s an interesting statement because just today I’m reading about a mass shortage of COVID-19 tests at public testing sites in New York City, the epicenter of the Omicron variant cases.

An administration official tried to put a positive spin on the vice president’s remarks, insisting that she meant that the president and his aides did not foresee the mutations.

‘The vice president’s comments referred to the exact kind of mutation,’ said a statement by a Harris adviser obtained by Fox News on Saturday.

‘The administration knew mutations were possible, it [is] the reason we ordered extra tests, extra gear and extra PPE [personal protective equipment].’

The adviser said that the administration kept promoting vaccinations, masking and social distancing in case new variants would appear.

‘It is the reason the president, vice president and our entire administration warned early and often that the best way to get on the other side of the pandemic is to get vaccinated,’ the aide said.

‘We were and continue to be prepared.’

‘[The vice president] and the president have warned for months, they said the best way to get on the other side of this is to get vaccinated,’ the aide said.

‘Why were they doing that? Because they were clear mutations could occur.’

So, the administration knew mutations were possible but just not the “exact kind” of mutation? That’s clear as mud. This is why so many people are not only suffering from COVID fatigue but from confusion from a never-ending stream of contradictory statements made by this administration. Messaging vacillates between we’re all going to die and we’ll survive ok if we are vaxxed and boosted. There is little to no trust left in the administration or the CDC or Dr. Fauci. They are all just flying by the seat of their pants, apparently, two years into the pandemic. Biden used the politics of the pandemic to promise he would “shut down the virus” when he ran for president. It was a ridiculous promise at the time and now he is rightfully criticized.

Biden is coming under fire now for delaying a public address on the Omicron variant until Tuesday. On the one hand, he is telling Americans that it will be a dark and death-filled winter for those who are not vaccinated against COVID-19, and on the other hand, he is carrying on with this weekend in Delaware. Is it time to move quickly to thwart the rapid spread of the Omicron variant as it merges with a still-present Delta variant outbreak or not? Delaying a statement to the public indicates either Biden doesn’t know what to tell the public (most likely) or the variants that remain aren’t so urgent to mitigate. Questions are being raised across the board. Jen Psaki announced Biden’s speech scheduled for Tuesday.

Reactions came in for the delay or a look of ambivalence from the president.

The Omicron is spreading quicker than Delta but its symptoms appear to be more like a bad cold than the severity of Delta for those who are vaccinated and boosted. Yet, panic has set in and companies are going back to working remotely and schools and universities are once again closing. Here we go again. God help the children who are likely to pay a price for all this for years to come.