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White House Requests $22.5B for Covid

Biden says he ended the pandemic, but apparently he needs another $22.5 billion of your dollars to make sure it stays ended.
White House Requests $22.5B for Covid

Covid-19 is over, but Covid-19 federal spending is, apparently, only getting started.

After using his Tuesday evening State of the Union address to announce the effective end of the pandemic, President Joe Biden and his administration rolled out a few next steps in the White House’s latest Covid-19 plan on Wednesday, including ruling out school and business closings.

Also on Wednesday, the White House dished out a handful of funding requests. As the largest item on the list, the administration requested another $22.5 billion for Covid-19 relief.

Reports the Washington Post“The plan was released hours after President Biden announced a pandemic reset in his State of the Union address, asserting that the wide availability of vaccines and therapeutics had made the coronavirus threat more manageable, while taking pains to avoid last summer’s premature victory lap.”

Notwithstanding vague threats about summer 2021, the text of Biden’s plan makes clear his intent to declare victory, finally, and let Americans move on with life—whether because of his abysmal ratings or because his advisors recognize the need to provide a little taste of gravy to keep the people following the train. (In elementary school, we were taught that World War II got the United States out of the Great Depression, raising another potential reason to have mixed feelings about the sudden death of pandemic malaise.)

The plan reads:

We look to a future when Americans no longer fear lockdowns, shutdowns, and our kids not going to school. It’s a future when the country relies on the powerful layers of protection we have built and invests in the next generation of tools to stay ahead of this virus.

With masks off for congress members and staff and vaccine mandates done even in New York City, it seems the rest of the country is right there with Biden, if not several steps ahead of him. It’s been two years, for heaven’s sake.

Yet, $22.5 billion.

The obvious question, the one you almost feel silly to ask, is why does the White House need any more money? And then, for what would it be used? Vaccines and tests are widespread, mask mandates largely over, and hospitals more than capable of treating a mild viral infection. Surely there’s no argument to be made that with a $15 starting wage and thousands of empty jobs Americans need more money to stay at home.

More concerning is a point Biden himself raised Tuesday night: $100 billion of the roughly $6 trillion in pandemic aid has gone missing. The Justice Department will soon appoint a chief prosecutor to find it, and charge…someone—those who misappropriated the funds, one would hope, but more likely the sensational persons who received it, like former NFL players and reality TVs stars who allegedly got Biden Bucks while small businesses didn’t.

This isn’t preschool; when you lose the money you’re given, you don’t get more money to try again.

The president’s request pends the approval of Congress, so here’s hoping the legislative body has more of a spine than it did the last time Covid relief was up for consideration. The track record is not encouraging. One thing’s certain, however: If pandemic spending doesn’t end now, there’s no guarantee it ever will. Like taking off your shoes for TSA, the 2020 regulations are well on their way to becoming not only accepted but permanent fixtures in our society, and Congress seems reticent to stop that.



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