During the Biden administration, a strategy was developed for containing one coronavirus strain, then a much more contagious one popped up. A month after having set the goal, Biden has reached it with roughly 70% of the United States’ adult population getting at least one COVID-19 shot. It was originally intended to celebrate American resilience on Independence Day, but little was true to celebrate by the belated milestone. As a result of the delta variant, more than 70,000 new cases are occurring daily, above last summer’s peak when vaccines were not available. CDC recommendations about masking are attracting criticism from experts in both the medical and scientific communities.
The delta variant, however, makes no distinction in its response to politics. In the case of Biden’s pandemic response failing, Republican governors who oppose pandemic mandates will also need to account. They, too, expected declining cases. As a result, unvaccinated patients clog their hospitals.
Delta Variant Disrupts Political Calculus
By following a process-driven approach, Biden was able to deliver more than enough vaccines to backstop the country, supplying 110 million doses to other countries. Approximately 965,000 first doses were given each day when the president first sent a vaccination goal of 70% in May, about twice as fast as the rate required to hit the July 4 goal. Then things began to happen.
Despite public surveys showing large swaths of the population opposed to vaccines, White House officials did not anticipate very many Americans would turn their back on life-saving shots that could have helped them. Misinformation about vaccines caused a fog of doubt to fester in many communities, especially in states with Republican governors.
Although the CDC lifted its guidelines for fully vaccinated adults to wear masks indoors on May 13, topline indicators remained at the green. The CDC advised unvaccinated people to wear masks until they receive vaccinations. During a celebration in the Rose Garden at the White House, Biden and Harris doff their masks. Cafes, supermarkets, restaurants, beer gardens, and supermarkets are all celebrated. Music festivals and weddings were planned. It was difficult to tell who really was and who was not immunized due to the praise, and a restless country had no way of knowing whether or not it was being protected.
The CDC’s interference with masking guidelines back in May was the biggest mistake committed by the Biden presidency on COVID 19, said Dr. Leana Wen, a former Baltimore commissioner, and CNN commentator. Delta variants arrived a short time later, and within weeks they would dominate the market.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky recently confirmed just how much more contagious delta is: If someone gets sick with it, it can be transmitted to two more people unvaccinated. You may infect more than five unvaccinated people if you become ill with the delta variant, as compared to the original strain.
Last week, the CDC reversed its position on masks, urging even vaccinated people to wear them inside whenever the virus spreads, most of the country included. In Provincetown, Massachusetts, disease detectives had reported a recent outbreak. There was a delta variant and most people brought down by the disease were vaccinated. Though few vaccinated people became sick enough to be hospitalized, initial findings showed they carried about the same amount of virus as unvaccinated individuals.
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According to some, the report reinforced vaccine doubts. CDC officials said the report from Provincetown should have been seen in a wider context which demonstrated vaccines are indeed effective. A request for comment was not immediately returned by the CDC.
President Biden declared the nation’s independence from the virus back on July 4. Despite the pandemic, he seemed to be moving on. To advance his ambitious domestic agenda, the president sought a bipartisan solution to the infrastructure dilemma and sold a separate Democrats-only bill. COVID-19 briefings at the White House declined.
A Seattle-based infectious disease expert named Ali Mokdad told CNN that we celebrated too soon. As of now, only about half the population is fully vaccinated, Mokdad said. The vaccination rate is again rising, but not dramatically.
Despite the lack of mask requirements, Republicans Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas are facing surges in their respective states. In the past seven days, Florida and Texas accounted for roughly one-third of all new cases. He defended his defiance by blaming “media hysteria” and people staying inside during the sweltering summer weather.
Offit, the Philadelphia vaccines expert, says it is difficult to watch; DeSantis says he will not comply with the mask mandate. He is leading the league in criminal cases because of this.
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