And it’s not flattering (boldface mine):
When President Biden declared in his State of the Union Address that “Covid no longer controls our lives,” he failed to call attention to the “tripledemic” that has affected 40 percent of American households, the one in 13 adults who suffers from long Covid, and the millions of immunocompromised Americans at high risk of infection and death. Biden was, however, correct in identifying that public opinion has shifted on the Covid-19 pandemic, with only 31 percent of Americans reporting that they are worried about getting sick from Covid-19, the flu, or RSV. However, as the Biden administration recently decided to end the Covid national emergency, removing a host of protections including free and widespread access to testing, the White House is now quite limited in its options to mitigate possible future outbreaks.
Biden, however, stressed that “we still need to monitor dozens of variants and support new vaccines and treatments.” The White House has made its position clear: A circulating virus, even one that mutates, is not as much of a concern as the economic and political ramifications of public health precautions. And yet only 28 percent of Americans have received a dose of the updated bivalent booster. It looks increasingly clear that the administration’s laissez-faire approach is leaving the most vulnerable behind, a price most of the public is willing to pay for a “return to normal.” The little time Biden spent in his address on the continuing pandemic both illustrates and informs the current political reality.
I obviously hope I’m wrong*, but 2024 might be the year long COVID kicks in politically–and that’s not good for anyone (at least the green eyeshade brigade doesn’t think so).
*I would like nothing more than my concerns about long COVID to be overblown, but I haven’t seen compelling evidence to think otherwise.