Biden Planning Pivot Away From Coronavirus Pandemic in Thursday Primetime Address

President Joe Biden is expected to tout national progress on the coronavirus epidemic in a primetime speech scheduled for Thursday night, potentially setting off a figurative green light for Americans to relent from a full year of coronavirus restrictions, lockdowns, and arbitrary mask mandates.

Biden is expected to celebrate the daily vaccination rate of almost two million Americans a day, taking credit for a policy accomplishment largely set into motion by his predecessor, Donald Trump. Daily deaths from COVID-19 have consistently declined since January, and increasing vaccination could make the threat of the virus less of a pressing, everyday concern. With Biden content to take credit for Trump’s vaccine program, Democratic hysteria over the coronavirus could gradually fade away.

Biden’s suggestion of progress on the coronavirus epidemic could prove a major stepping stone in moving beyond the pandemic. Republican states have proven willing to move beyond the COVID-19 epidemic, removing statewide mask mandates and capacity rules, even as Democrats assail state leaders for allowing businesses and communities to make their own decisions.

The coronavirus epidemic proved a powerful political lightning rod for the Democratic Party, gaining mass appeal through promises of $2,000 stimulus checks and larger federal bailouts in response to one of the worst economic recessions in American history. Charting a path forward after the pandemic might prove more politically unpopular, with Democrats clinging to unpopular stances on immigration, guns, criminal justice, and taxes.

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