That marks a significant change from last January’s hope that an extensive regimen of vaccinations could control it. Biden proclaimed last July 4 “we’re closer than ever to declaring our independence” from the pandemic — before the administration was caught off guard by first the delta variant and then the omicron strain.
The larger picture is that a lot has changed for the better in the last 12 months. The economy is stronger, the country healthier and most U.S. overseas relationships back to normal.
But Biden’s ultimate success still hinges on the degree his administration can control the pandemic and restore normalcy to American life.