Biden Shifts His Pandemic Focus Ahead of Midterms

After vowing to “shut down” COVID-19, President Biden has recently begun to acknowledge it would not be destroyed, repositioning for the midterm elections.

The White House and top government health experts promote vaccinations, masks, and precautions. The omicron strain is generally mild; Biden officials have supported the resumption of schools and acknowledged the virus’s likely spread. 

Because the public has lost faith in Biden’s ability to shepherd the country out of a pandemic, FiveThirtyEight reported Thursday that around 48% dislike his job thus far. 

Living with the Virus

Last summer, Biden emphasized “independence” from COVID-19; this week, Biden said COVID is probably here to stay. 

Unvaccinated people die from COVID-19. Because approximately 210 million Americans were wholly vaccinated, Biden stated Thursday the country’s bulk is safe from COVID-19’s severe repercussions.

That’s why, despite an increase in infections among vaccinated Americans, mortality is down from last winter.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s primary medical adviser, warned Tuesday that omicron’s unparalleled level of transmissibility would eventually find everyone.

When asked if the administration’s pandemic policy changed, Vice President Kamala Harris struggled to respond. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has also been stressing more encouraging news about how omicron interacts with the body’s immune system. This comes as evidence mounts that the variant is less capable of destroying the public than the delta variant. 

The CDC revealed Wednesday that patients with omicron had a 53% lower chance of symptomatic hospitalization, a 74% lower risk of being admitted to intensive care units, and a 91% lower risk of death.

Notably, the study found people without prior immunity are less at risk. 

Isolation Standards and Economy Rebounds

The economy’s recovery by November will also significantly impact how people vote, said American Enterprise Institute health policy specialist Tom Miller. 

“If they can bring people back into the workforce and ease supply shortages, that will determine where this government is in the midterms,” he said.

An update to CDC COVID-19 isolation standards reflects worries that omicron could overburden hospitals and deprive companies of staff.

Asymptomatic people should be isolated for five days, not ten, if they test positive for the virus. The new recommendations suggest that asymptomatic individuals, after five days, can leave seclusion.

They can do this without first testing negative for the virus, provided that they wear a mask regularly. Last Monday, Delta Airlines asked the EPA to expedite the return of vaccinated employees who were not experiencing symptoms.

In the past, they rationed treatment based on who is most likely to live, not the most in need, said Karl Minges, interim dean of the School of Health Sciences at the University of New Haven.

“Considering the disease load in terms of instances impacts the regional economy.”