Joe Biden’s Inauguration – the uncertainty that the USA faces

By Arin Sanjay Doshi

Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States of America (USA) together with Vice President Kamala Harris on 20 January 2021, after defeating Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential elections. The 2020 elections together with Biden’s inauguration come at a time of uncertainty with rife disinformation between the Republican party and the Democrat party, with both sides continuously blaming each side for the lack of unity in the country. The consistent political blame game has led to a public health crisis with 30 million COVID-19 cases. On the home front, civil unrest has risen with a major outbreak of protests in major American cities from groups such as ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter (BLM). With President Biden in power, suspicions have been raised with more questions being asked on how he would lead the USA in regard to American hegemony with the rise of China as a superpower. Citizens have also further pondered on how he plans to unite this divided country.

American foreign policy towards China has become a heated topic of discussion within the Biden administration. This is because of Biden’s welcoming trading relations with China, in an attempt to secure friendlier and more beneficial trade deals. A clear contrast to the Trump administration’s isolationist approach that caused bilateral ties to be at its lowest since the 1970s. With Biden being president, there is the likelihood of his administration committing the USA to a multilateral world order. This would mean that if China were to be part of an alliance with the USA alongside other Western countries, this can put more pressure on China as they will be questioned about their stance on the country’s human rights situation and also of its geo political ambitions, if China were to commit to such an alliance.However, the publication of the Biden corruption scandal has raised more questions regarding the legitimacy of his intentions of opening up to China.

The Biden corruption scandal was a series of scandals that involved corrupt business ventures between the Biden family and their business partners. Former Biden family business partners Tony Bobulinski and Bevan Cooney together with computer shop owner John Paul Mac Isaac came forward with a wide range of documents such as internal corporate records, emails, and text messages showing incriminating evidence of years of detailed business trading dealings under the Biden name.

One of the deals in question was a $40 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) deal with the China Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), a private Shanghai-based energy conglomerate on Monkey Island in Louisiana. This project was intended to create thousands of jobs. Joe Biden’s son Hunter, conducted negotiations with Ye Jianming, the head of the CEFC.

Within the signing of this partnership, Bobulinski noted that from the equity distribution of the deal, Hunter was to receive a 20 percent cut, and to hold an additional 10 percent for his father, Joe Biden, who was commonly referred to as the “big guy” in the emails. Lastly, Joe’s brother Jim Biden would also get 10 percent.   

Before it could crystalize, the deal fizzled out with the company due to corruption allegations on its end and investigations from the US intelligence service upon the CEFC, for being an intelligence tool against the USA. In fact, top officials of the company had known links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and to army divisions like the China People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Yet the Biden family managed to get money from their Chinese partners.

Ye Jianming enlisted his confidant Dong Gongwen to establish a line of credit through a Biden law firm known as Hudson West III which issued credit cards to Hunter, Jim and Sara Biden, whose purchases skyrocketed to the US $100,000s. Furthermore, Hunter’s law firm Owasco received another $100,000. Within the following days of the collapse of the deal a further $5 million was wired to Hudson West III, similarly US$4.8 of these funds were transferred through Owasco, with US$1.4 million being received by Jim Biden.

President Biden has earned the nickname Beijing Biden from Republicans and Trump supporters alike, as they believe that he may be selling out American interests to the Chinese. In fact, it should not be surprising that Hunter Biden and his associates had become the centre of an FBI investigation relating to money laundering and tax evasion charges with deals connected to China that have also sparked counterintelligence issues. 

It is equally alarming that a number of mainstream news companies have not reported on the scandal even after the New York post had published the Biden corruption scandal. A Fox News report showcased that CNN, ABC and CBS news did not report coverage of this scandal whereas NBC forecasted only a minute and a half approximately on the Biden corruption scandal, whilst MSNBC did a mere minute and 11 seconds. Fox news had covered this scandal in greater detail for 17 minutes 6 seconds.

USA News OutletsCoverage time on the Hunter Biden scandal
MSNBC1 min 11 secs
CNN0 minutes
ABC0 minutes
NBC1 minute 31 seconds
CBS0 minute
FOX news17 minutes 6 seconds
Table source: Vision times and Fox News

The president has denied allegations of him being involved in the scandal as he claimed that his son’s business deals are his own business and claimed he has not taken a penny from a foreign source. The fact that there was little coverage of this scandal from mainstream news channels raises concerns on disinformation. It also shows how an agenda is at play in keeping the American population uninformed.

Irregardless, of whether a political figure behind a scandal is a Republican or a Democrat, this needs to be covered thoroughly for the collective interests of the American people so that they are more informed of what is happening in their country. As a scandal like this also covers the interests of another major power like China, points need to be raised about how the security and sovereignty of the USA can affect the American people.

It is equally important to consider the narratives that surround the COVID-19 pandemic. As cases have been rising in the USA, there has been dissent between different groups on how the virus is viewed. In Republican circles, they view the virus as not being as dangerous the mainstream media claims it to be. Furthermore, with mask mandates and lockdowns in certain states, they also view this as a threat to their freedom and businesses being heavily regulated. On the other hand, the Democrat party is for the enforcement of lockdowns and mask mandates as they believe it is a way for cases to drop. President Biden in the meantime has called for a three-part plan within the first 100 days of his presidency.

The goals of the three-part plan are mask mandates, vaccinations and the opening of schools. Biden has called for more mask mandates in public spaces such as federal buildings and within interstate travelling from any modes of transport. In terms of vaccinations, he further plans to get about 100 million COVID-19 vaccines for American citizens who are most at risk such as health care workers and the elderly. Lastly, with the help of congress, he plans to increase funding to protect students, educators, and staff, through the vigilance of states and cities placing forward strong public health measures. This plan would be conducted with the help of Dr Anthony Fauci, who is the chief medical advisor of the COVID-19 crisis. However, one may ask, how do Americans see this coming along?

A prominent issue that has come up are the inconsistencies in plans combatting the virus. On the 25th of January, 2021, Dr Fauci stated that rather than wearing one mask, wearing two masks is “likely” to yield more protection. Wearing a mask ensures that there is a physical covering that prevents droplets and the virus itself from getting in, thus double masking would prove to be effective. This is “common sense”, he alleged. However, within 2 weeks Fauci backtracked during a video livestream with the American Federation of Teachers. He reiterated that double masking has not proven to be effective, as there is no such data that proves it will make a difference whether one double masks.

Furthermore, it should be noted that there were questions raised regarding the double standards of the rules set to combat the COVID 19-virus. Prominent British American doctor Qanta A. Ahmed has criticised the standards of rules that have been set for gatherings. Mass gathering rules were set for occasions such as visiting family or friends, having funeral rites and even closing businesses to prevent social gatherings in the name of controlling the spread of the virus in New York state. Yet, mass protests led by BLM activists were allowed in the name of social justice after the death of George Floyd. These decisions were taken under the auspices of New York state governor Andrew Cuomo and mayor of New York city Bill De Blasio.

These sanctimonious standards have led to a colossal loss of trust between the American people and politicians. Should the people trust the politicians and public health officials who have set strict standards for small businesses, workplaces, and schools to control the virus? If so, then why were protests allowed if the virus is so potent?

In conclusion, in order for there to be an increase in trust and stability in the USA, President Biden must place importance in vigilance towards disinformation and misinformation in regards to decisions concerning China and the COVID-19 pandemic regardless of the party in power.  He has to be careful with how he plans to thread with China. The Biden Administration recently had talks with China on the 19th of March, 2021 in Alaska in order to restart bilateral relations with focus on areas of global concern such as trade, climate change and public health. Yet this high-level meeting talks ended up with no common ground between China and the USA. While Biden has the next four years to look out for, the CCP has geo political plans and ambitions for the next thirty years. The decisions Biden takes now with China need to be done with the interests of the American people first, rather than the likes of Hunter.

With the COVID-19 virus still in sight, steps need to be taken to address the gaps of information that have arisen from COVID-19 regulations and Biden’s three-part plan, so that there is less confusion amongst the American public. Together with this, appropriate steps can be taken to reduce the spread of the disease from the setup of the necessary rules and regulations through cooperation between the Biden administration and US citizens, regardless of differences between them. In fact, key congressmen who are also well-known medical experts such as Rand Paul shouldn’t be simply dismissed for addressing concerns of the narratives of the virus. Simply dismissing or not addressing these key issues can prove to be tumultuous to the future of the USA under the Biden administration.

Edited by Zuzanna Mietlinska, artwork by Chira Tudoran