WASHINGTON — The newest surge of the coronavirus is one other reminder for President Biden of how laborious it is to get forward of the pandemic.
Vaccine effectiveness has waned within the onslaught of Delta and Omicron. A spike in demand for testing is straining the system. And masks stay a political situation throughout the nation.
Nearly a year into his presidency, Mr. Biden’s promise to “shut down the virus, not the country” stays solely partly fulfilled. Stubborn resistance to vaccines amongst tens of millions and the arrival of the fast-spreading new variant have upended the president’s plans for a hopeful, end-of-the-year vacation season.
Just a week earlier than Christmas, Mr. Biden had to provide a warning of gloom.
“We are looking at a winter of severe illness and death — if you’re unvaccinated — for themselves, their families, and the hospitals they’ll soon overwhelm,” Mr. Biden stated on the White House on Thursday. “The whole point is: Omicron is here, it’s going to start to spread much more rapidly in the beginning of the year, and the only real protection is to get your shots.”
Issuing dire new warnings is not the place Mr. Biden or his prime advisers anticipated they might be at this level within the year.