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President Joe Biden needs to step up, right now, and be the strong leader the nation needs to get us all back to normalcy.
History smiles on leaders like Winston Churchill, Lincoln and FDR who take the reins and make bold decisions, not cower behind advisers.
Especially when those advisers plainly can’t lead or even communicate clearly. We respect Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the Centers for Disease Control chief, but she’s clearly overwhelmed by the pressures of her job. As we noted a day ago, the latest CDC guidelines make no practical sense except as bureaucrats looking to make sure no one blames them for any new COVID cases.
Biden needs to take command, note that such a “guidance” isn’t actually policy and make the best choice for the country as a whole — which is not to re-mask, let alone re-lockdown.
Deaths and hospitalizations are still down to minimal levels, nowhere near the threat of 15 months ago — despite the Delta variant. Indeed, Delta is proving less deadly than past strains.
To be clear: The president must frankly admit the harsh fact the nation will see more deaths from the coronavirus, which has become endemic as the pandemic ends.
But “endemic” means it’s no great threat to the vast majority of us. A century after the Spanish flu pandemic, the flu takes lives each year: It’s just another risk like so many others we all face daily. Anyone who’s vaccinated is more likely to die from a lightning strike.
And that doesn’t justify most extraordinary measures: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Yes, the president should urge the vax-resistant to get their jabs — and order the entire administration to adopt that overwhelming message, without contradictory noise that makes it seem like it’s losing faith in the vaccines.
And, yes, stomp on the Food and Drug Administration to speed up final vaccine approval: This delay is unconscionable, and a lot of resisters cite the lack of official OK as reason to doubt. Final clearance will also make it easier for employers to insist their workers get jabbed.
The FDA seems to think the crisis is over, and it can return completely to its customary pre-COVID procedures — which are designed mainly to ensure no bureaucrat gets in trouble. A strong leader sets different priorities that put protecting the public first.
Yet real leaders also don’t obsess about non-critical problems, and the unvaxxed are a problem only for themselves. Remember, too, that tens of millions of the jab-resistant voted for you, Mr. President: Don’t belittle them, just seek ways to persuade and inspire them to do the right thing now. (And, heck, ask LeBron James to do a PSA, too.)
No side issue should distract from the real priorities: America’s children all need to be back in school this fall and not subject to arbitrary re-closures for trivial reasons. Children face no real COVID danger at all; nor do they spread the bug: There’s zero reason for them to mask, in school or anywhere else. (For once, sir, tell the teachers unions to take a hike.)
And America’s workers need to get back on the job, off unemployment or back in the office, remote no more. The economy depends on it.
For the sake of the children, the economy and your own place in history, Mr. President: Lead the nation to move on and not be held hostage by the vax holdouts or by the hysterics who will greet every new variant as another doomsday.
The pandemic really, truly is over. Show the way to normalcy.
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