- - Wednesday, January 12, 2022

President Biden vowed to “shut down” the COVID-19 virus.

Well, that didn’t work out.

So Biden then sought to scare the @#%& out of everyone.

As the omicron variant arrived in America, Mr. Biden declared: “It’s here now, and it’s spreading, and it’s gonna increase. … We are looking at a winter of severe illness and death for the unvaccinated — for themselves, their families and the hospitals they’ll soon overwhelm.”

Of course, Mr. Biden would go on a month later to say handling the coronavirus is more of a job for the states, effectively washing his hands of his botched handling and the government’s inability to provide tests (although the president did announce the construction of a test-making facility — which will open in 2024; thanks, Joe).

But here’s the thing. Mr. Biden and his Debbie Downer minion Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. immunologist, got everyone worked into a lather over the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 — even before anything was known about the new strain — but poof, none of their dire predictions came true.

A growing body of evidence appears to show this: The omicron variant is milder than the delta strain; hospitalization and death from the new variant are far less than delta; and Biden’s vaccine mandate — which targeted small businesses already crushed by two years of lockdowns and shutdowns — is all but moot.

The risk of winding up in the intensive care unit or dying from the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is 83% less compared to the delta strain, according to a recent Canadian study. In addition, the risk of hospitalization or death for an omicron infection is 65% less than delta, the study found.

“Omicron appears to demonstrate lower disease severity for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals,” the study said.

The Canadian study mirrored findings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rate of hospitalizations of Americans with COVID-19 has dropped 50% amid the new omicron variant compared to record highs seen a year ago, the data showed.

Even though the rate of cases has more than tripled since omicron emerged around Thanksgiving, just 3% of people with the virus are being admitted in hospitals, data from the CDC shows.

That rate is less than half the 6.5% of cases that needed hospitalization exactly a year ago when the average daily case count was about 250,000, the data showed. Deaths from the virus are less than a third of what was recorded last January at about 1,200 per day, far fewer than the record high of 3,400 a year ago, CDC data showed.

Dr. Fauci, meanwhile, said last week that based on new data about the omicron variant, “all indications point to a lesser severity of omicron versus delta.”

“As we get further and further in the experience with omicron — and perhaps even variants that might come after that — it’s very, very clear: For example, with omicron, if you have a larger number of infections — and as the data that I presented here indicate that there is — it looks like a significant lessening of severity compared to others — it becomes much more relevant as to what the seriousness of the impact on society is,” Mr. Fauci said.

Well, he’s the scientist — why didn’t he wait for the science before declaring disaster? Instead, he appeared almost daily on TV to warn Americans about a variant that neither he nor anyone else knew a thing about.

That led a talking head at the liberal MSNBC cable network to declare the variant is “something that does look more like the flu.”

“Now, the flu, of course, can still be dangerous — kills tens of thousands of Americans every year — but we do not orient our lives around the flu,” host Chris Hayes said on his show. “So that’s closer to the level of risks that, you know, 200 million Americans or less than that are now dealing with.”

And Mr. Biden’s mandate requiring businesses with 100 employees or more to mandate vaccines (which last week got a very fiery response from justices as it reached the Supreme Court) is all but pointless given that the virus keeps mutating (which some scientists now say may lead to the end of the pandemic as the milder strain takes over).

Finally, The Wall Street Journal put a final dagger into Mr. Biden’s mandate. “There’s a simpler reason the [Supreme Court] justices should stay these mandates: the rise of the omicron variant,” the paper wrote. “It would be irrational, legally indefensible and contrary to the public interest for government to mandate vaccines absent any evidence that the vaccines are effective in stopping the spread of the pathogen they target. Yet that’s exactly what’s happening here.”

Oh, Joe.

• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at josephcurl@gmail.com and on Twitter @josephcurl.

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