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Biden's steep slide from July 4th to the next day

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The Associated Press

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Chris Megerian And Zeke Miller

Washington (AP) — On the last four days of July, President Joe Byden gathered hundreds of people outside the White House. I did. Last year, it was unthinkable for many Americans. As the corona virus retreated, they ate hamburgers and saw fireworks at the National Mall.

The pandemic isn't over yet, but Byden said, "We're closer than ever to proclaiming independence from the deadly virus." The sharp drop in the number of infections and deaths has reduced the requirements for indoor masking across the country.

Within a few weeks, even some of the president's allies personally admitted that the speech was premature. Soon, the administration will know that the delta variant can be transmitted by people who have already been vaccinated. The mask has been restored, and since then the mandatory vaccination has become polarized. A more contagious variant of Omicron arrived months later, infecting millions and causing confusion during the holiday season.

"We wanted to be free from the virus, and the virus was more ready for us," said Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Director Joshua Schaffstein said. The number of Americans who died in COVID-19 has almost doubled from 605,000 to over 1 million over the past year.

The sunny speech a year ago was at the crossroads of President Byden. The pandemic appeared to be declining, the economy was booming, inflation was negligible, and public approval for his job performance was shining.

As Viden approaches the White House on July 2nd and 4th, his position will not change anymore. Due to a series of miscalculations and unexpected challenges, Byden is struggling to gain a foothold as he faces a potentially damaging ruling from voters in the next midterm elections. Even issues that were not due to Byden are driving the Republican efforts to regain control of Congress.

Last summer, the United States withdrew from Afghanistan following the resurgence of the pandemic when Tullivan seized control of the country earlier than expected due to the collapse of the United States-backed regime. did. After that, negotiations on the broader domestic agenda of Byden stalled and completely collapsed in December.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February caused gas prices to skyrocket globally, inflation worsened, and reached its highest level in 40 years. Last month, the Supreme Court Roe v. Another blow was when it overturned the constitutional right to abortion under Wade and reduced the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

Suddenly becoming a responsive president, Biden remained trying to regain the initiative at every step, and in many cases the results were mixed. The corona virus is less threatening than before and the infection is much less likely to be fatal, but Congress refuses to provide more money to deal with the pandemic.

After the slaughter in New York and Texas, he signed new gun regulations and led a reinvestment in European security as the war in Ukraine entered the fifth month. .. However, he limits the tools he has at his disposal to address other challenges, such as increased costs and reduced access to abortions.

"People are in a bad mood," said President's historian Lindsay Chelbinsky.

According to the latest survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, his approval rate remains at 39%, the lowest since his inauguration, plummeting from 59% a year ago. doing. Only 14% of Americans believe the country is heading in the right direction, down from 44%.

Another historian, Douglas Brinkley, said Byden suffered from the president's arrogant case after a huge success five months after his inauguration. For the international scene. He compared last year's July 4th speech by President George W. Bush during the Second Iraq War with the infamous "Mission Achievement" moment.

"He was trying to give good news, but he didn't work," Brinkley said. "Suddenly, Byden lost a lot of goodwill."

Whitehouse officials pointed out that Byden warned of a "strong" delta variant in his 2021 speech, making a comparison. I refused. Chris Meeger, a spokeswoman, said the number of deaths from the virus is currently record low, reducing confusion in the workplace and in the classroom.

"The fight against inflation and price cuts are the president's top economic priorities, and he can do everything he can to make sure the economy is working for the American people. The focus is on doing things, "he said. "And thanks to the work we have done to control the pandemic, we are in a strong position to move from a historic job recovery to a steady and steady growth. COVID has been around for a long time. It's not a destructive factor. "

The promise to properly deal with the COVID-19 outbreak puts Byden in the oval office and defeats President Donald Trump. It was useful. From the beginning of Byden's tenure, his public statement was calm and cautious, wary of following his predecessor with unachieved predictions. The national vaccination program found its progress under Biden, and by April 19, 2021, all adults were eligible for vaccination.

Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research Policy at the University of Minnesota, was an advisor to the transition team in Byden. But as July 4th approached last year, he was worried and felt that the administration was not paying attention to his warning.

"Everyone was in this position to believe it was over and didn't fully understand or recognize the potential of the variant," he said. rice field.

A year later, Osterholm is still hesitant to say what the future holds.

"I want an answer too," he said. "But I don't know what the variant will bring us. I don't know what human immunity will be."

Biden said in a speech on July 4th that the virus " I haven't been defeated, "he said, and two days later he held another event to talk about the Delta Variant.

"It seems to me that everyone should think twice," he said, appealing to those who have not yet been vaccinated.

Leana Wen, a professor of public health at George Washington University, said there are many reasons why this year is more optimistic than last year. Immunity from vaccines and previous infections is much more widespread, and antiviral treatment is effective in preventing hospitalization and death of vulnerable patients.

"It was premature to declare independence from COVID-19 last year," she said. "But this year, the country is in a completely different place, much better."

But Wen is wary of how things went before. I said it might be.

"The administration is now hesitant to make these declarations, but in reality it is time to do so," she said.

Biden's early strategy of disappointing and over-delivering at COVID-19 was part of a collaborative strategy to rebuild public confidence in the government. The resurgence of the virus has eroded some of its trust and reduced confidence in Biden's job performance.

Reconstruction has proven difficult, especially as the country faces challenges.

"The president is all powerful and I hope he can solve every problem," said Chelvinsky, president's historian. "It's a completely unrealistic expectation and, frankly, dangerous."

President Bill Clinton stumbled during his first two years in office and then the first midterm elections. Faced with a wave of Republican victory. However, he later became the first Democratic President to be reelected since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Chelvinsky warned that today's political polarization could make such a rebound more difficult for Byden.

In an important question, she states: