Joe Biden based his campaign and his presidency on the belief that even in times of political division, government could still function.
Biden seemed to be able to prove his concept when the Senate voted to start work on the infrastructure bill he supported this week.
However, the victory was overshadowed in part by the escalating delta virus of the coronavirus. This has made it difficult to restore mask guidelines and has hampered the nation’s economic recovery. It also threatens Biden’s central promise of leading the United States from the pandemic.
Robert Gibbs, the former press secretary of President Barack Obama, stated that Democrats must put wins on board going into 2022. With COVID clouds on horizon, it’s even more critical to get infrastructure and reconciliation done. He said that it was “imperative for Biden to communicate on these regularly and prepare us for the ups or downs of the pandemic.”
In his first six months of office, the president received high marks in most polls. These included the complete vaccination of more that 60% of Americans, more than 3,000,000 new jobs, and the passage of a massive $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief law. He has also made significant progress on the two-pronged infrastructure track, which could bring in $4.5 trillion to the United States economy. While he is still focusing on future steps regarding voting rights and immigration.
The virulence and stubbornness of the American delta strain has raised concerns about another pandemic. This has rattled financial markets, which are already anxiously watching for long-term inflation.
Now Biden is in a more difficult phase of his presidency. The virus has again proven to be an intractable foe, threatening the nation’s fragile return back to normalcy.
“It’s hard to hear this. It’s frustrating. It’s exhausting to believe that we’re still fighting,” Biden told reporters at the White House Thursday. “And I’m sure we hoped that this would be an easy, straight-forward line, with no new problems or challenges. This isn’t the real world.
However, the administration’s response has not been flawless. It was criticized for its messaging regarding the virus, which included confusing guidance this week about when and why people who have been vaccinated should return to wearing masks indoors.
Biden declared July 4th as the day America would declare its independence from the virus in front of 1,000 people who were not wearing masks at the White House. However, just weeks later, White House staffers and journalists were forced to wear face covers again, regardless of whether they had been vaccinated.
Americans who celebrated a return of normalcy across the country are being asked to don masks again. This has caused resentment among some who followed the health guidelines during the pandemic. The rollback raises questions about whether the Biden administration was too quick to loosen guidelines, and is now at risk of losing some public confidence.
They broke their word. They broke their word,” Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., House Minority Leader.
However, it is certain that the most severe vaccine hesitancy has been observed in areas closely associated with Trump’s support. Some conservative media outlets have amplified this fearfulness.
A president must be capable of putting aside all plans and organizing to respond to a crisis. Trump was overwhelmed by the pandemic. His best argument for reelection — a strong economy — vanished overnight. While his administration’s chaotic and sporadic response was harshly judged by voters.
The White House of Biden is more systematic and has spent months meticulously working on its infrastructure plan. This was despite calls from his party to put their attention on voting rights. To reach a bipartisan deal, Biden persuaded at least 10 Republicans into laying down their partisan arms in order to reach a deal for so-called “hard infrastructure” — highways, broadband Internet access, and mass transit — before moving on to a larger, Democrats only budget reconciliation vote for the remainder of the plan.
Although negotiations ended in limbo more times than once, Biden made a bet that he would reach across the aisle and 17 GOP senators voted for the bipartisan plan, which is nearly $1 trillion. This was a major win for the White House. However, there are many twists and turns ahead.
Biden had made it clear that it was necessary to show that both parties could still work together and that democracy could still deliver for its people.
“Our economy grew faster than Wall Street forecasters anticipated for the whole year before we implemented our plan,” stated Biden. He predicted that the infrastructure deal would “continue this momentum over long-term by making the largest investment in rebuilding America in almost a century.”
Biden has pushed his broadly popular agenda directly into conservative strongholds — he has held about a half-dozen events in Republican-controlled districts in recent weeks — in an effort to paint Republicans as the party of no while hoping to rein in their turnout next fall when he tries to help preserve threadbare Democratic majorities in Congress.
The president is keeping an eye on inflation and betting that voters will reward his policies. The White House claims it is Republicans who run solely on their identity politics, rather than truly delivering for their constituents.
However, the strategy relies on policy implementation — and that is what makes the virus so deadly.
A second wave could cause schools and businesses to close. This would not only undermine the public’s faith that Biden is capable of managing the virus, but also lead to a slowdown in the economy, which would jeopardize the Democrats’ main arguments going into the midterms next fall.
Gibbs stated, “We are not out of the woods.”