Top Biden assistant defends handling of COVID as 2021 deaths exceed 2020s: ‘Bring it on’

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White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain on Wednesday defended the administration’s work to reduce coronavirus-related deaths despite GOP frustration over the deadly virus persistently.

“Let’s be clear: the day we came here, 4,000 people died a day, and one percent of Americans were vaccinated. Today, the number of deaths has dropped by 75 percent, and nearly 200 million Americans are fully grown,” he said. in a tweet. “We still have a LOT of work to do.

“But if anyone wants a debate on COVID, then come along,” he added.

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Klein’s comments were in response to a New York Times report on Republicans criticizing Biden’s handling of the pandemic. Republicans have hammered at the president over the fact that the pandemic has continued despite Biden promising on the campaign track to “shut down” the virus if elected.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy blew up the Biden administration during his record-breaking floor speech last week.

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“I took President Biden at his word; I took him at his word when he said he would get COVID under control,” McCarthy said. “Unfortunately, more Americans have died this year than last year under COVID.”

The majority of deaths have been among unvaccinated Americans.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., And Republican members criticize President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the end of the war in Afghanistan during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington on Tuesday, August 31, 2021.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., And Republican members criticize President Joe Biden and House President Nancy Pelosi at the end of the war in Afghanistan during a press conference at the Capitol in Washington on Tuesday, August 31, 2021.
(AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

About 70% of the U.S. population has received at least one shot of a vaccine, and those numbers may increase under policies adopted by the Biden administration.

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Biden has been pushing for all government employees, military service members, contractors and companies with 100 employees or more to enforce vaccine mandates, policies that Republicans have been fiercely fighting against.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now urging people to not only get vaccinated, but also get booster shots ahead of the winter months.

President Biden (left) and Chief of Staff Ron Klain meet with cabinet members and immigration advisers at the State Dining Room on March 24, 2021 in Washington, DC

President Biden (left) and Chief of Staff Ron Klain meet with cabinet members and immigration advisers at the State Dining Room on March 24, 2021 in Washington, DC
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

Vaccinations appeared to contribute significantly to lowering the infection rate in the spring and into the early summer months.

However, the spread of the delta variant, a newer and more deadly strain of coronavirus, caused the number of cases to rise to rates not seen since before the vaccine became widely available.

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On Monday, the CDC confirmed that more than 162,000 new cases of the virus were reported over a seven-day rolling average, including 1,200 deaths.

While the U.S. again sees higher infection rates, the number of related deaths has continued on a downward trend since the delta virus took hold in August.

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