Biden lands win, but virus surge threatens to derail agenda
NEW YORK (AP) — Joe Biden wagered his campaign and now his presidency on the premise that government itself could still work, even at a time of fractious political division.
When the Senate voted this week, with bipartisan support, to begin work on an infrastructure bill that Biden supported, he seemed to have proof of the concept.
But the triumph was overshadowed by the surging delta variant of the coronavirus that has forced the restoration of mask guidelines, imperiled the nation’s economic recovery and threatened Biden’s central promise that he would lead the United States out of the pandemic.
“Democrats have to put wins on the board going into 2022, and COVID clouds on the horizon make getting infrastructure and reconciliation done all that much more important,” said Robert Gibbs, former press secretary to President Barack Obama. He added that it’s “imperative for the Biden administration to communicate on this regularly and prepare for us for the ups and downs of this pandemic.”
The president’s first six months in office, for which he has received strong marks in most public polls, featured the full vaccination of more than 60% of Americans, the creation of more than 3 million new jobs and the passage of a sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill. And in recent…