As the pandemic’s one-year mark came and went, President Joe Biden dangled a major piece of hope in front of the American people: a taste of (nearly) normal on July Fourth, if only we stay the course.
It’s a bold benchmark, but unlike other dates offered before (ahem, Easter 2020), this feels feasible. Vaccinations are ticking up and Biden committed to directing all states to open Covid-19 vaccinations to all adults by May 1.
But staying the course could prove tough, especially as states continue to roll back restrictions despite public health guidance against it.
The July Fourth announcement came the same day Biden signed the $1.9 trillion Covid relief package into law – a massive legislative achievement, even if no Republicans voted for it. The package is popular with the public, too, on both sides of the aisle, according to new polling from CNN and SSRS.
Meanwhile in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo again told reporters he would not resign, but the ground has shifted since last week. More allegations of misconduct have emerged, and now a majority of the Empire State’s Democratic members of Congress have called on him to step aside. Cuomo said Friday that the allegations against him did not happen, and that “I have not had a sexual relationship that was inappropriate, period.”
As Biden shifts to highlighting the Covid relief benefits in a cross-country sales pitch next week, a crisis looms at the US-Mexico border (even if the administration won’t use that term specifically). A surge of unaccompanied minors threatens to overwhelm facilities and has officials scrambling to accommodate them.
The Point: As a potential post-pandemic return to normal comes into view, another crisis is brewing, this time at the border.