Joe Biden has made a stunning comment about the coronavirus pandemic, with many saying the admission stands in stark contrast to his pre-election pledge.
Speaking at the White House on Friday (local time) as he urged Congress to pass more Covid-19 relief, the US President said there was "nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months".
Many were quick to note that the comment seemed rather at odds with Biden's pre-election rhetoric about a virus that's killed more than 400,000 Americans and infected close to 25 million.
"Folks, our work begins with getting Covid under control. We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality or relish life's most precious moments, hugging our grandchildren, our children, our birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us until we get it under control," the 78-year-old said on the night of his election victory last November.
"I will spare no effort, none, or any commitment, to turn around this pandemic."
"Weird. I don't remember Biden campaigning on the 'nothing we can do about the virus trajectory' platform," wrote the Washington Examiner's Andrew Mark Miller.
"Haven't we been told for months that restrictions and mandates were necessary to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months?" former Republican Congressman Justin Amash said.
The President has repeatedly warned that the situation is likely to worsen before it improves.
Biden's admission came after, in one of his first executive actions, he mandated mask-wearing and social distancing on all federal property and by all federal employees for the first 100 days of his term.
"The brutal truth is it's going to take months before we can get the majority of Americans vaccinated," he said on Thursday.
"So, while we increase vaccinations, we're going to take steps necessary now to slow the spread of the disease as well.
"The experts say by wearing a mask from now until April, we'd save more than 50,000 lives going forward. 50,000 lives. So I'm asking every American to mask up for the next 100 days."