Tag Archives: pandemic

Biden moves quickly on pandemic fight

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden is wasting no time proving he means what he says about pulling out all the stops in fighting the killer pandemic.

The president today ordered 200 million more doses of the vaccine that is expected to help eradicate the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

This, dear friends, is music to my pointy ears.

Now, a bit of full disclosure.

A very close and dear member of my family has just been released from the hospital, where she spent four weeks, most of the time hooked up to a respirator. She now is resting at home with her husband and her golden Labrador retriever.

This is my way of telling you that this disease cuts me close to the quick and I am not going to relent one iota in following the recommended measures to maintain my own health, along with the health of our beloved family members.

President Biden said during his inaugural speech that we should wear masks and do all the things we need to do out of love for our country. I love my country, Mr. President! I hear you, sir!

I also want you to ensure the nation that you do not let up — not at all, not one bit! — in maintaining our national resolve to rid us all of this killer virus.

The death count passed the “horrific” status long ago. It is climbing as I write these words. It came too damn close to claiming someone who is very special to me.

Two hundred million more doses on the way? Yes! Bring more … many more!

Call it a ‘false positive’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It’s a form of “false positive” news about the pandemic.

What we hear this morning is that infection/hospitalization rates are leveling off, that they now are at pre-Thanksgiving levels. Is that good news? Sure it is. At least for today it is.

What’s more, we hear about vaccination rates accelerating. Twenty million Americans have received at least the first dose of vaccine. That, too, is encouraging.

Tomorrow is another day. Next week is another week. Which means that we intend to continue doing what we need to do to stay healthy.

It’s good to remind everyone that this kind of false positive news is no signal to let up, no time to back off.

I take only a small measure of relief to hear the news about infection and hospitalization rates. We are keeping our masks within arm’s reach at all times.

Dr. Fauci: free at last!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Dr. Anthony Fauci made a declaration of sorts this week when he conducted a briefing to the world about the progress of the federal government’s war against the killer pandemic.

He declared his “liberation” from a presidential administration that didn’t allow him to speak the unvarnished truth about the crisis we are facing. He now answers to the Joe Biden administration, which has declared loudly and forthrightly that it intends to rely on the science to determine its course of action in fighting the disease.

Its point man is actually going to be able to take the point. President Biden asked Fauci to serve as the administration’s senior medical adviser. Fauci accepted the request “on the spot,” according to the president.

This week he offered the latest data on the effects of the virus. He did so knowing that he won’t be challenged or criticized or ridiculed by the president … who now happens to be a private citizen. The new president, Joe Biden, is listening and heeding the advice of the world’s premier infectious disease expert.

Free at last! yes, Dr. Fauci? Millions of us across the land welcome your newfound liberation.

Wishing to put distance between now and the immediate past

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It might be just me, but I am sensing a serious desire among many millions of Americans who yearn to welcome a new presidential administration with an extra sense of zeal.

We’ve been through a tumultuous past four years. It started with a president declaring an end to what he called “this American carnage.” The presidential term ended with another rash of carnage spilling on the steps of our nation’s Capitol Building, inside the structure, threatening the very democratic process that makes us proud to be Americans.

We somehow got through the horrible event of the Sixth of January. The House the following week then impeached the president for inciting the riot that erupted on Capitol Hill. A week after that we welcomed President Biden and Vice President Harris to the pinnacle of power.

The former president jetted off to Florida. Vice President Pence managed to shake the hands of the new president and vice president.

I cannot possibly know what is in the hearts of all Americans. My own heart is quite full tonight after watching one of the strangest inaugurals I ever have witnessed.

There were no large crowds. No grand parade. The former president and the new president did not share a limo ride from the White House to the Capitol.

Throughout the day, my sense has been a feeling of relief that the past is behind us along with a strong desire to put it farther behind us … in rapid fashion!

Yes, many crises confront the new president and vice president. The pandemic needs focused attention from the center of our federal government. Our worldwide allies need assurance that our nation has returned to its rightful place on center stage. Our climate is changing. Our nation is torn by racial strife.

I get a sense that we now have considerable faith in President Biden and Vice President Harris are up to the task of moving us forward.

Unity is elusive, but not impossible

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden laid down a critical marker that in any other time would sound like just another platitude.

This isn’t just any other time. Joe Biden has become president of a nation still reeling from the tumult, turmoil and terror of recent weeks. He stood on the steps of a Capitol Building that just two weeks ago bore witness to a violet insurrection of terrorists hell bent on inflicting grievous damage to our democratic process.

Biden’s inaugural speech spoke of unity, of healing, of reconciliation. He wants us to be able to disagree politically but not do so out of anger.

Yes, the president has set the correct tone as he now moves forward along with the history-making vice president, Kamala Harris, who becomes the first woman, the first African-American, the first woman of Asian descent to become VP.

It has been quite a day. A moment for the ages.

Can the president achieve the unity he seeks? Sure he can. It will be tough climb. He inherits the highest office in a deeply divided land.

Let’s not be coy about the barriers standing before him. President Biden succeeds a man — who he never mentioned by name in his inaugural speech — who sought to sow division and who governed with no sense of the diversity our nation’s citizenry.

Moreover, Biden offered a moment of silent prayer for the 400,000 Americans who have died from the pandemic. When did his predecessor ever do that?

President Biden’s immediate predecessor is now gone, but the cult that formed upon his election four years ago remains. Yet, Biden spoke to them today, vowing to work just as hard for those who opposed his election as he will for those who endorsed it.

Whether the opponents hear and heed that message remains to be seen and heard. Oh, man … I hope he can deliver the goods.

All in all? This has been a good day for the United States.

I want to make one final point: President Biden spoke of the fragility of our democracy. I concur to a point. Fragility, though, does not mean it breaks easily.

Thus, our democracy remains as strong as tempered steel. We saw that strength today.

Uh, Mr. POTUS … what about the rest of it?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald John Trump’s farewell speech to the nation is an exercise in the error of omission.

I have shared it with you already, but it deserves an additional comment. I listened to Trump’s speech a second time and I am struck by a glaring absence of reality.

If Trump had done all that he claimed to have done during his term in office he would have been re-elected with a 60 percent vote majority and a 40-state Electoral College landslide.

Yes, all those good things happened on his watch. I won’t dispute the economic skyrocket that launched on his watch. Joblessness plummeted, job growth soared, retirement funds exploded, the stock market went crazy.

But … wait! The jobs disappeared when the pandemic struck. Trump’s response to the viral attack? It was hideous. He downplayed its severity. Do you remember that? Businesses closed. Jobs vanished by the millions!Ā Who is responsible for that? The lack of a coherent federal response must be laid directly at Donald Trump’s feet.

Trump didn’t acknowledge any of the mistakes he made in managing that response. He didn’t mention how he contradicted his science advisers’ recommendations. Trump didn’t tell us how he blurted out how ingesting cleansers might cure COVID patients of the virus nor did he mention the ridicule he received from the medical community over that hideous statement in the White House briefing room.

Trump lost the election because Americans had grown tired of his lies, of his incoherence, of the chaos associated with the rapid-fire turnaround in Cabinet officials and high-powered senior staff members. He lost because he couldn’t demonstrate a shred of empathy for a nation grieving over the pandemic.

Trump lost to Joe Biden because he did not know how to govern!

Error of omission? Yep. It was stunning in that farewell speech.

Had those positive items he mentioned today were allowed to stand alone, Donald Trump would have been re-elected in a walk. They cannot stand without challenge fromĀ  those of us who know better than to accept anything that Donald Trump says.

Farewell Address of President Donald J. Trump – YouTube

Finally, the man who lost has yet to demonstrate anything resembling class and grace in accepting defeat. A man’s man would extend his good wishes to the individual who defeated him … and would be man enough to say his name.

Donald Trump showed us once again — I hope for the final time — that he is a cowardly charlatan.

Farewell and good riddance!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I will present to you a link that believe you should watch.

It is of Donald John Trump bidding us farewell as he prepares to leave Washington, D.C. His time as president of the United States is about over.

He speaks of the “triumphs” he scored during the past four years.

I’ll insist only that you watch it and I will just get out of the way. Spoiler alert: You won’t hear one name mentioned during his soliloquy … Joe Biden.

Farewell Address of President Donald J. Trump – YouTube

The farewell address makes a passing mention of the suffering from the pandemic and of the riot that Trump incited. Contrition? Personal responsibility? An apology for mistakes?

It’s all MIA.

Goodbye, Mr. President. Good riddance!

Biden to restore empathy to high office

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It looks as though we have received a sneakĀ  preview of what I believe might become a hallmark of a Joe Biden presidency.

The president-elect today bid so long to his beloved Delaware and while doing so teared up, talking about his late son, Beau and how his entire family will have “Delaware” inscribed in their hearts forever.

He ended his speech with tears streaking down both cheeks. Joe and Jill Biden have arrived in Washington and will get ready for the biggest day of their lives, when Joe Biden ascends to the pinnacle of political power.

Empathy, compassion, heart-felt emotion. That has been missing for the past four years. It is the kind of quality we occasionally need to see in the president of the United States. We caught a glimpse of it today and I suspect that as we move forward into the Biden presidency we are going to see much more of it.

I have noted before how the term “consoler in chief” isn’t described in writing in the president’s job description. It is implied. It is understood that at times — such as these — we need a president who can wrap his arms around grieving families and offer them the kind of emotional support they need.

Heaven knows, a nation in the midst of a killer pandemic needs that kind of empathy from our head of state. We have lost 400,000 AmericansĀ  to the COVID-19 virus. Many more will succumb to this disease. President Biden cannot snap his fingers and cure it just like that. He can, though, speak to us about the pain many of us are feeling. Indeed, a man who has endured unspeakable tragedy in his own life can understand; his wife and infant daughter died in a car crash many years ago and then he buried his son, Beau, just five years ago.

Joe Biden knows about pain. He knows how to relate to others who are suffering from similar pain.

We saw a touch of it today. I look forward to seeing much more presidential empathy as we move ahead.

Hoping for a honeymoon

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald John Trump didn’t get one when he became president.

My hope is that Trump’s successor, Joseph R. Biden Jr., is able to reap a benefit usually bestowed to shiny new presidents of the United States: a honeymoon period with Congress and with the public.

To be sure, President Biden will take office after arguably the bitterest, angriest and contention-filled election in U.S. history. He ran against a relentless liar to then, after losing the election, fomented the Big Lie — that the election wasn’t free and fair, that it was “rigged” by “widespread vote fraud.”

The Big Lie resulted in what occurred on the Sixth of January, the attack on our nation’s Capitol Building by terrorists egged on by Trump, who now awaits a trial in the Senate after the House impeached him a second time, this time on a charge of incitement of insurrection.

I know what you’re thinking: That is hardly a backdrop conducive to a honeymoon period for a new president.

I am going to remain hopeful nonetheless.

Joe Biden inherits a government in crisis. He will speak to us Wednesday about unification, about healing, about restoring our national soul. Yes, we have a killer pandemic that has killed 400,000 Americans. Our economy is in free fall. Our nation continues to struggle with deep divides among the races that comprise our diverse population.

Is a honeymoon even possible? I believe so. It could commence with an inaugural speech that tries to tamp down the fiery rhetoric that exploded after the election and culminated in the riot that sought to overturn the democratic process. President Biden’s success in seeking that unity will depend in large part on the receptiveness of Republicans, a majority of whom swallowed Trump’s Big Lie about the integrity of the election; tragically, many of those GOP Big Lie believers serve in Congress.

A new era is about to dawn over a capital still reeling from the terrorist onslaught. May it produce at least a glimmer of a honeymoon period with a new executive branch team working with the legislative branch in searching for a way out of the mess the predecessors left behind.

Biden inherits historic burden

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Let’s flash back a few decades, shall we?

President Woodrow Wilson served while the nation was battling a killer pandemic; President Franklin Roosevelt took office during the Great Depression, with an economy in free fall; President Lyndon Johnson assumed office with the nation struggling with racial tension.

President Joe Biden? He’s about to take office to battle a raging pandemic, an economy in dire peril and a nation torn by racial strife.

Oh, and let’s add that his immediate predecessor, Donald Trump, will be standing trial in the U.S. Senate for inciting an insurrection that resulted in a deadly riot on Capitol Hill.

The new president is going to have a full plate, you know?

These are challenging times. I am heartened by the knowledge that the new president spent a professional lifetime in government. Thus, he knows which buttons to push, which levers to pull, whose arms to twist.

He will need all the skill he has developed over his years in the Senate and as vice president of the United States. President Biden’s lengthy career should hold him in good stead. It also should serve well a nation that needs significant repair from the damage done by the man who is heading out the door.