Biden urges firing of COVID-19 response chief Jeff Ziente for ‘damn’ failure

Lambert is here: Why stop at Zients? Klein, Fauci and Varensky should all go. The same goes for Psaki, and we’re doing it.Not that all of this will happen, if only because Biden is strong Loyal to employees.

Jack Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Originally Posted in Shared Dreams.

President Joe Biden is facing mounting pressure to fire White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients — a former private equity executive with no public health background — because the administration continue to face criticism slow and insufficient Efforts to fight Covid-19.

The watchdog group has long term warning Given Zients’ lack of scientific and medical experience and his record in the private sector, he is ineligible for the difficult task of leading the federal government’s response to the pandemic. invest In a company accused of exploitative windfall billing.

Early critics of Biden’s appointment of Zients to key positions believe their concerns have materialized during the Omicron surge that exposed the administration’s Lack of preparation For variants that experts consider highly contagious warn Almost inevitable.

writing This American Prospects, Daniel Boguslaw of the Revolving Door Project (RDP) famous On Thursday, “Zients failed to provide the material needed to improve the U.S. response, or the guidance needed to control the pandemic, amid a completely predictable virus mutation and winter surge.”

“He has proven himself unfit for the task,” he added, “Biden should remove him.”

RDP researcher Boguslaw criticized Biden’s December 2020 selection of Zients, noting that the pandemic tsar “largely abdicated” his responsibility to use the Defense Production Act to ensure widespread availability of high-quality masks And coronavirus testing, Biden’s authority delegate to Zienz.

“He could have mobilized during the year to fight a common enemy in the virus, stockpiling enough personal protective equipment (PPE) and medicines to protect the public,” Boguslau wrote???.

But as RDP’s Timi Iwayemi column for common dream Last month, “Zients prioritized working with businesses over exercising the right of a democratic government to protect people.”

“Globally,” Iwayemi added, “Zients emphasizes vaccine charity rather than fairness, almost ensuring that the world will never have enough vaccines to prevent more mutations in a rapidly changing virus.”

Boguslaw responded to the criticism, arguing that “the most abhorrent of Zients’ failures is his refusal to allocate resources to help with vaccination efforts abroad.”

“As Vice News report This week, Tito’s Vodka has done more to mass-produce an open-source global vaccine than the White House has donated,” Boguslau wrote???. “Global vaccine distribution is not only a humanitarian imperative, but also to prevent new variants. key steps to emerge. But doing so would require angering powerful forces in corporate America. “

Calls for Zients to step down come amid growing anger over the Biden administration’s overall response to the pandemic — an anger that’s hardly limited to Zients.

In recent weeks, as common dream Nurses, union leaders and public health experts have reportedly expressed disappointment at the confusing and potentially dangerous advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which last month loose Its isolation guidelines follow lobbying push from a US company.

Government also allows emergency workplace standards invalid, with daily coronavirus cases remaining at record levels, on-the-job protections for healthcare workers and others are weaker. The seven-day average of new reported cases in the U.S. topped 800,000 for the first time on Saturday, new data from Johns Hopkins University showed.

In response to a surge in infections, the Biden administration recently launched a plan under which American families will be able to order Free rapid coronavirus test.Thursday, from senator.Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and other progressive lawmakers, Biden Say The government will also soon announce a plan to distribute free high-quality masks to those in need.

While welcoming these steps, experts and observers have sigh The administration’s slow response to the development of the new epidemic has left people across the United States left to fend for themselves as the White House catches up. In October, the Biden administration it is said Plans to distribute free rapid Covid-19 tests over the holidays were rejected, hampering the country’s response to the winter surge that followed in the months.

As recently as early December, White House press secretary Jen Psaki laugh at Ideas for mailing coronavirus tests to families.

People ordering tests under new government scheme may have to wait about two weeks let them arrive.Biden offers no timeline for his announced plan for free masks a few weeks later Experts are beginning to warn that widely available cloth masks are not enough to ward off Omicron.

In a mid-December interview, Vice President Kamala Harris tried to justify the administration’s belated action: claim The White House “did not see Delta coming” and “did not see Omicron coming”.

But former federal vaccine scientists Rick Bright Controversial Harris narrative, writing on twitter He personally warned the Biden transition team in December 2020 that “variants are coming and we need to plan and act now.”

“They all know,” he added.

Infectious disease expert Céline Gounder also offered advice on Biden’s transition, prove “We definitely see variants.”

Looking to the future, Gaode Tell This Washington post On Thursday, “there will be another [variant]—We might as well learn the lesson and prepare appropriately for the next lesson. “

“Each time, we were kind of like, ‘Okay, why bother because this is the last surge,'” she said. “And I think that’s a completely wrong way of thinking.”

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