U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the COVID-19 pandemic:

“As the Senate begins this new year and new session, millions of Americans are yet again having life disrupted by a new and surging variant of the coronavirus.

“Thus far, there is cause for optimism. The rapidly-spreading Omicron variant seems to cause milder disease than previous iterations. By now, a huge portion of our population has some immunity — through our remarkable, safe, and effective vaccines or through prior exposure. And our healthcare providers know much more today than they did two years ago.

“Unfortunately, the last few weeks have also exposed big gaps between the Biden Administration’s promises and the reality under their leadership.

“In 2020, then-candidate Biden promised he would ‘shut down the virus.’ That has not happened.

“Back when the virus had killed 220,000 Americans, then-candidate Biden said ‘anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain as President of the United States.’ Now almost four times that many people have died.

“Nobody is solely blaming this Administration for this mutating virus. But nobody forced Democrats to campaign on those promises and attacks. They chose to.

“But they haven’t governed accordingly.

“It’s been nearly a year since President Biden inherited three vaccines and a distribution operation that was already putting a million shots in a million arms every day. Before this Administration took office.

“What new solutions do Democrats have to show for a full year in power? Where is their 2021 equivalent to our 2020’s Operation Warp Speed?

“What did they produce in 11 months besides angry speeches about the vaccines they inherited?

“Why does the pandemic in January 2022 feel so eerily similar to the pandemic in January 2021, except that this Administration happened to get lucky with an apparently less dangerous variant?

“After a year of this Administration, families are still having trouble tracking down testing for work, school, travel, or peace of mind.

“This Administration has limited important treatments.

“They’ve dragged their heels on promising innovations.

“They’ve been inexplicably slow to disburse relief funds for hospitals and providers that Congress set aside ages ago.

“They’ve used odd, alienating rhetoric around the vaccines they inherited. 

“And remember, last spring, when our Democratic colleagues spent $1.9 trillion on a supposedly COVID-related spending bill, only 9% of it went to the actual health fight against COVID.

“This all-Democrat government spent its first year distracted. And the country is feeling the consequences.”

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