The Biden administration is seemingly shifting goalposts for the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, after months of then-candidate Joe Biden blasting former President Donald Trump’s handling of the public health emergency, as they now are looking for what has been described as a “manageable middle.”
In a Politico article titled “Why We Can’t Turn the Corner on Covid,” public health officials seemingly changed their tune and now surmise there is “no quick and clear turning point ahead” in the pandemic, according to the outlet. That represents a drastic shift from the narrative presented mere months ago, where public health officials presented vaccines as the answer to return to a state of pre-pandemic normalcy. That has not happened, as some states and local governments have reimposed mask mandates, even for the vaccinated.
But, months after such heavy criticisms, officials hit a wall, unable to convince 70 percent of Americans to get vaccinated by Biden’s original goal of July 4. To date, 53 percent of the U.S. population is considered “fully vaccinated,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Politico asserted, citing Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and adding that they are “looking at something in the manageable middle.”
There will be no quick and clear turning point ahead in the Covid-19 pandemic, no ‘X’ to mark on the calendar indicating that the worst is past and we can be confident that going forward there will be fewer cases, fewer deaths, fewer hospitals stuffed to their dangerous limits.
“It is really important that we convey that success does not equal no cases,” Murthy told Politico. “Success looks like very few people in the hospital and very few dying.”
“This is obviously a very difficult part of the pandemic,” Murthy continued, citing concerns over the delta variant.
“This is the dichotomy developing,” he continued, mentioning the vaccinated and unvaccinated. “It’s almost like living in two different Americas.”
The months ahead will undoubtedly be a mix of advances and setbacks. The political challenge for Biden and the public health system will be to communicate a sense of progress and momentum even without the benefit of a clear “turning point.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci has also been unable to offer a timeframe for a “turning point” in the pandemic, although he attributes that to the millions of Americans who remain unvaccinated.
“You can’t have 90 million people who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not vaccinated and expect that you can make a good prediction about where we’re going to be,” he told NPR’s Mary Lousie Kelly.
“Because when you have people unvaccinated to the extent that they are unvaccinated, you have the possibility of the virus continuing to circulate, mutating, forming more variants and getting us back into another situation similar to or worse than delta,” Fauci continued, although he surmised the U.S. could “start to really get some good control” over the virus in 2022.