As Biden walks the tightrope of touting COVID-19 successes vis-à-vis managing expectations for the future, “the mess we inherited” will never go out of style.
“No” To Neera.
Neera Tanden withdrew her name from nomination as the next Director of the Office of Management and Budget, announced in a statement by President Joe Biden and Tanden.
In the course of her ultimately failed Senate confirmation hearings, former Hillary Clinton advisor Tanden admitted to having spent “many months” removing “regretted” Twitter posts. Her tweets had included direct attacks on Republican senators, running contrary to the notion that she would be willing to work across political divides as OMB director.
“Back To Normal” Depends On You.
Biden announced Tuesday he expects the United States to obtain enough vaccines for all Americans by the end of May 2021. But this announcement refers to the procurement of vaccines, not the timeline for actually vaccinating every American.
In a partnership between rivals initiated under President Donald Trump, drugmaker Merck will help to produce the newly-authorized Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is easier to store than previous vaccines and only requires one dose, but has faced challenges with a complex production process.
In his announcement, Biden also emphasized that he wants to move teachers and school staff forward in line for vaccines.
“Today, I’m using the full authority of the federal government,” Biden said. “My challenge to all states, territories, and the District of Columbia is this: We want every educator, school staff member, childcare worker to receive at least one shot by the end of the month of March.”
When asked when he expects things to go “back to normal,” Biden replied:
“I’ve been cautioned not to give an answer to that because we don’t know for sure. But my hope is, by this time next year, we’re going to be back to normal, and before that—my hope. But again, it depends upon if people continue—continue to be smart and understand that we still can have significant losses. There’s a lot we have to do yet.”
He reminded Americans to keep wearing masks, plugged the American Rescue Plan, and added, “We’re making progress from the mess we inherited.”
Expect to hear that same three-part equation often as the Biden White House diligently manages expectations for the future of COVID-19:
- We’re doing as much as we possibly can.
- It depends on you as much as it depends on us.
- Whatever we accomplish (or don’t) is a triumph in comparison to what we inherited—and some Trump accomplishments just belong in the Biden column.