A time of bitter political division was not an obstacle to Biden’s campaign and presidency. As the Senate began work on an infrastructure bill that Biden endorsed this week, with bipartisan support, he seemed to have proved the concept.
A surge in occurrence of the delta variant of the Coronavirus has overshadowed Biden’s victory, forcing the restoration of mask guidelines, undermining the nation’s economic recovery, and jeopardizing his promise to lead us out of the pandemic.
Democrats need to be able to say they won going forward, and COVID clouds on the horizon add to the urgency of getting reconciliation and infrastructure done; this is according to former Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Moreover, he said, the administration must communicate regularly regarding this matter and prepare us for whatever might come.
The Agenda Is Threatened By A Virus Outbreak After Biden Wins The Nomination
He created 3 million new jobs in the first half of his presidency, including the full vaccination of more than 60% of Americans, and enacted a sweeping COVID relief bill worth $1.9 trillion. Recent moves have seen him progress on massive infrastructure projects that could swell the US economy by $4.5 trillion, as well as work on voting rights and immigration reforms.
In addition to the virulence of the delta strain, a significant portion of the US population has declined to get vaccines, raising alarms about another wave of the pandemic, a prospect that has shaken financial markets already nervous about inflation. A new virus outbreak has put the nation’s fragile return to normalcy in danger as Biden enters another challenging phase of his presidency.
Biden said to reporters outside the White House on Thursday: I understand how difficult it is for you to hear. I understand how frustrating it is. I understand how exhausting it can be to fight day after day. I know we had hoped this line would run smoothly, without new problems or challenges. But that’s not how it works.
On the other hand, the administration hasn’t responded smoothly. Even vaccinated people may need to wear masks indoors if they’re ill. The Obama administration’s communications on the virus have been criticized, including confusing guidance this week.
As part of his plan, Biden declared July 4th and the White House to be the day when Americans declared their independence from the virus. The White House forced all journalists and staff at the time to wear face covers again just weeks later, regardless of their vaccination status.
American’s who have revealed a return to normalcy is now being asked to wear masks again, stirring resentment among the health-conscious who followed the pandemic’s health guidelines. By rolling back the guidelines, the Biden administration is raising the question of whether it had been too quick in relaxing guidelines, and now is at risk of losing public confidence.
Although vaccine hesitancy has largely occurred in areas strongly linked to former President Donald Trump, some media outlets on the right have amplified the skepticism.
When a crisis occurs, even the most tightly organized, carefully laid plans must be set aside. In addition, voters didn’t appreciate his administration’s erratic and sporadic response to the pandemic, his best reelection argument – a strong economy – fading overnight.
As President Biden has prioritized infrastructure over voting rights, the White House has been more methodical in its approach and spent months carefully developing its infrastructure plan. By convincing at least 10 Republicans to forgo their partisan allegiances, a bipartisan agreement was reached in hard infrastructure – highways, broadband internet access, mass transit – with the remainder of the plan to be resolved through a larger, Democratic-only budget reconciliation vote.
The bipartisan plan passed with 17 GOP senators voting in favor, even though the negotiations were almost off to a halt more than once. Despite numerous twists and turns that will surely come, including keeping Democrats in line for reconciliation, it was an important win for the White House.
As a demonstration of the capability of democracies to fulfill their obligations to their citizens, Biden argued the two parties needed to work together to prove that they could still work together.
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The vice president has been implementing his broadly popular agenda directly into conservative strongholds in recent weeks. His goal is to portray Republicans as the party of no while he hopes to limit their turnout at the polls next fall to help sustain Democratic majorities in Congress.
The president is betting on inflation to reward his political policies, arguing that Republicans run solely on identity politics rather than genuinely serving their voters’ interests. It is this policy that makes the virus so dangerous – the failure of which would undermine the strategy.
The second wave of closings would not only undermine the public’s confidence in Biden’s handling of the virus but would also hurt the economic recovery, undermining Democrats’ central arguments heading into next fall’s midterm elections.
The crisis is far from over, Gibbs said.