President Joe Biden will celebrate America’s defeat of Covid-19 with a July 4th barbecue this Sunday, but the fireworks smoke will barely clear before the Democrat has to confront maybe even tougher challenges.
About 1,000 guests emergency service and essential workers, military members and their families — are set to pour into the White House grounds for the kind of party unimaginable a year ago, when the country was under lockdown.
The Independence Day bash on the South Lawn, followed by a thunderous fireworks display on the National Mall, will allow Biden to mark what he’s calling “independence from this virus.”
Biden’s To-Do list features a staggering number of crises and headaches, ranging from climate change to handling a desperately divided Congress and a vengeful Donald Trump.
At least for one humid Washington evening, though, the 78-year-old Biden will be able to kick back and celebrate.
After leading the world in Covid deaths — more than 600,000 — the United States has emerged as a model for getting the novel coronavirus under control and the economy back on track.
Much of that is down to Biden reversing Trump’s chaotic response with a focused campaign to encourage mask-wearing and vaccinations.
He also got Congress to approve a historic $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, super-charging economic recovery and protecting the most vulnerable.
There are however some hefty wrinkles.
Biden’s much-promoted goal of having 70 per cent of US adults receive at least one dose of vaccine by July 4 will narrowly miss.
And celebratory White House statements tend to dodge emerging threats from the highly contagious Delta variant.
“If you’ve been vaccinated, the message we’re conveying is you’re safe,” was press secretary Jen Psaki’s response, when asked about the wisdom of staging a South Lawn party.
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