This moment is the biggest leadership test President Joe Biden has faced thus far. Having campaigned on the promise of tackling our public health crisis in more effective and efficient ways than his predecessor, Biden now needs to step up.
While there are certain things Biden cannot control, there are a few areas where it is imperative to show strong presidential leadership. Those include:
Keeping things open, safely: For much of 2020, the debate about Covid revolved around the binary of locking down versus keeping businesses open. Each option, of course, has immense costs. Keeping businesses and institutions open during surges poses unacceptable risks to our physical well-being. Shutting things down, however, is devastating to the economy, family well-being, education and mental health. This is where strong political leadership, working in conjunction with science, can play a pivotal role in the coming months. Biden should work to strike a middle ground, allowing businesses and schools to open safely. This could involve a number of tools including masks, distancing, the use of outdoor space, frequent testing and vaccine requirements.
Biden must do everything he can to figure out a battle plan to combat Omicron — and start acting now. It’s clear we are at a potential turning point, and if the situation is not handled effectively, we could find ourselves in the thick of another devastating season marred by death and illness. This is one moment when strong presidential leadership will play a big role in determining how we fare as a nation.