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Biden’s COVID strategy is about to face a big test

Governor of California Gavin Newsom had to resist a recall attempt. Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo resigned after releasing a damning sexual harassment investigation. But neither incident exceeded the test that the Governor went through Gretchen Whitmer: a radical right-wing kidnapping plot where she was supposed to leave a boat on Lake Michigan, in a dire harbinger of the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

A man has pleaded guilty participate in a scheme to kidnap Whitmer in retaliation for her aggressive anti-pandemic policies; next year is plan will go to trial in March. The governor’s COVID-fueled political troubles aren’t over yet, however, as she begins her 2022 re-election campaign. Whitmer has been a supporter of the President. Joe Bidencoronavirus agenda, but last week she created some distance by reported told business leaders that the vaccine mandate is “a problem for all of us.” In Detroit, the public schools—spinning from the state’s rising COVID rates and staff shortages — announced it was cutting its in-person schedule to four days a week, angering trusting parents.

The omicron variation seems to be less powerful than initially feared — news is welcome if confirmed as preliminary. But between the mass explosion of variants and the widespread disruption that has come from the worst of the pandemic, the political damage has not stopped growing. “There are certainly still public health hazards due to COVID,” Cornell Belcher, a Democratic strategist. “But the political problem with COVID is this, and you pick it up in the focus groups: the uncertainty of it all. Americans are waiting for the other shoe to drop — ‘What happens next?’ It leads to anxiety among voters of all political and demographic categories.”

Voters expressed that anger and frustration in November in New Jersey, where the incumbent Democrat Phil Murphy survived a close call, and in Virginia, where Republicans Glenn Youngkin confused suburbs from green to red. Yet even as the long-term political impact of COVID continues, Biden’s team sticks to its approach: Preaching science and patience, working to pass more bills at Congress and hope that the president will eventually gain more credibility.

Your political strategy on the emergency isn’t really political, said the Biden pollster. John Anzalone. “Just, do what you have to do. And the president showed it. His best job ratings are dealing with coronavirus, and they go even higher with the vaccine distribution program. There is an understanding that the Democrats take this issue very seriously and that people trust us and Biden more than the Republican Party. That is really important. And the Americans made the decision that they had to dig deep and move towards a new way of life, so they’re going to go out and do it. “

Biden and the administration certainly deserve more credit for launching a program that has worked for 11 months. 200 million Weapons — basically free for the shot-ees. It was a remarkable and lifesaving achievement. Gratitude for things that are going right, however, is highly unlikely in US politics, and much is still going wrong, from delays in the gift supply chain to the holidays. to rising inflation to overcrowding of hospitals in places like Colorado and upper class new york. “In 2009, during the financial crisis, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the president [Barack] Obama Belcher said. “And in 2010, Democrats were thanked by kicking their ass. Most Americans do not connect what happened in Washington with what is happening in their lives. This administration’s message going into the midterms is an absolute failure, the same way the Obama administration failed in 2010. History is about to repeat itself unless they change course. ”

A Democratic House incumbent facing an uphill midterm battle told me it was too early to make any such rulings: “I hope that we are about to pass Construction Build back better. And we are on the verge of — not too hard — spending millions talking about it on TV, by mail and digitally.” Anzalone is more specific in quantifying next year’s plan to pitch Democrats into midterm competitiveness. “There will be $7 billion spent on congressional campaigns,” he said. “And if we get half of that, I would consider the fact that we’re going to pass something that reduces the cost of health insurance and prescription drugs, aged care and childcare — things that are very popular not because they are candy. They are popular because they are necessary. And Republicans voted against it all. So I’ll take $3.5 billion and that message.”

All in all, it’s definitely an attractive package. But the best thing for Biden and his team is that all of the everyday economic and cultural side effects of COVID will be gone by next fall. Unfortunately, for everyone, it’s also highly unlikely.

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https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/12/bidens-covid-strategy-is-about-to-face-a-major-test Biden’s COVID strategy is about to face a big test

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