As vaccination accelerates, everyone wants in for credit

Politico:

Slavitt: I would ‘tip my hat’ to Trump’s Operation Warp Speed

We’re grateful for the work that came before us and are doing the best we can to continue it and accelerate it,” Slavitt said on Fox.

The Biden administration has previously said that the Trump administration left them “a mess” on Covid vaccination and President Joe Biden himself called Trump’s vaccine rollout in the early days a “dismal failure.” Slavitt said Thursday that the Biden administration hasn’t been trying to “point fingers.”

After the Warp Speed program fast-tracked vaccine development, initial Covid vaccine rollouts were sluggish but have since ramped up. Governors previously said Warp Speed didn’t keep promises on dose deliveries and some experts have said the rollout was disorganized.

Slavitt’s comments come a day after former President Donald Trump, who was banned from Twitter earlier this year, issued a short, tweet-like statement arguing that without his administration’s work, “you wouldn’t be getting that beautiful ‘shot’ for 5 years, at best, and probably wouldn’t be getting it at all.”

“I hope everyone remembers!” Trump wrote in the statement.

When asked on Fox if Biden would give Trump credit for the vaccine rollout in a primetime address Thursday, Slavitt said that Biden is looking ahead.

Maya Kosoff/WaPo:

In praise of vaccine selfies

They aren’t narcissistic. They’re a declaration of hope.

The pictures are so ordinary, but they feel so extraordinary. For most of the past year, even the briefest glance at my social media feeds has been a study in either pessimism or denial: Here the despair at how bad things have gotten, there the desperate attempt to prove that we’re living our best lives despite everything. But vaccine selfies seems to represent something else, something more like hope. They’re an admission that our lives have been as messy as the home-cut hairstyles we inevitably reveal in them. And yet they’re also a sign that we just might be able to get things together again. After a year of misery, suffering and disaster mismanagement from every level of government, it makes sense that some people may be happy to see the end is in sight, and to celebrate by marking the moment with a picture.

Katherine J Wu/Atlantic:

People Are Keeping Their Vaccines Secret

COVID-19 vaccinations have become a public spectacle, but they touch intensely private questions.

Yet for every immunization that sparks public joy, there’s perhaps another that blips silently by, shaded with guilt, frustration, or fear. Many of the recipients of these early jabs have chosen to hide them from even close friends and family—some of the people who stand to benefit the most from the protection that immunization affords.

I spoke with more than a dozen of these covert vaccinees last week; all asked to remain anonymous. (The Atlantic agreed to these requests because they involved personal health information.) The reasons behind the vaccinees’ reticence ran the gamut: Some worried that they would be accused of line hopping; others were wary of exposing the criteria that had qualified them. A weatherman in Florida wanted to avoid being prematurely called back to the office, because he’d miss out on quality time with his family. But they were united by what we might call shot self-consciousness—the worry about how their shots will be perceived by others.

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WSJ Editorial:

The Progressive Democratic Steamroller

The $1.9 trillion spending bill is only a taste of what’s coming.

One lesson from the Covid non-fight is that there are no Democratic moderates in Congress. The party base has moved so sharply left that even swing-state Members are more liberal than many liberals in the Clinton years. Democrats lost not a single vote in the Senate and only one in the House. The fear of primary challenges from the left, which took out House war horses in 2018 and 2020, has concentrated incumbent minds.

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Jonathan Bernstein/Bloomberg:

How Biden Pushes Both Unity and Partisanship

His pandemic-anniversary speech reflected his campaign promise to represent everyone, including foes of his liberal policy agenda.

What Biden promised on the campaign trail came down to two things, seemingly in some tension with each other. One was returning to politics-as-usual, following the disruptions of Donald Trump’s presidency. That was a promise he made to the entire nation, including to those who opposed him. The other? An aggressive, liberal policy agenda — not quite what Senator Bernie Sanders had offered, but even farther from the moderate, centrist approach others in the party had proposed.

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Will Bunch/philly.com:

Biden, Dems make big bet that labor unions can bring back America’s middle class 

An unexpected boost from President Biden for Amazon workers seeking to unionize in Alabama highlights a bold political strategy.

Mike Elk, the journalist behind the essential labor news site The Payday Report, who covered those losing battles in Chattanooga and elsewhere, told me that in those other places “union activists lost momentum in the closing days as workers gave into fear and intimidation tactics. What Biden did was shift momentum to the union activists while acting as a inoculation tool against anti-union tactics similar to the way a vaccine would act.”

Biden’s focus on union organizing wasn’t an isolated incident, either. On Capitol Hill, the new president’s Democratic allies in the House (joined by five Northeastern Republicans) this week passed the PRO (Protecting the Right to Organize) Act. It would address some of the labor-organizing issues that have been raised in the Alabama Amazon fight, such as ending “captive audience meetings” where management bombards workers with anti-union propaganda. It would also weaken so-called “right to work” laws and allow contractors like Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize. Biden has promised to sign it if it passes the Senate — but that’s unlikely unless Democrats get rid of the filibuster.

Mary Tobin and Rye Barcott/USA Today:

Why Biden COVID relief plan will fuel public service in America

America’s need for national service is as great as it has ever been. So is the opportunity to serve.

Everyone has their own reason for putting on the uniform. For one of us, it was her path out of poverty. For the other, it was a military heritage from his father. We both had the privilege of leading Americans from vastly different backgrounds overseas.

What we all had in common was a sense of duty, of knowing that service gives us purpose and unites us, across age, race, gender and religion, in a deep appreciation for our country.

That is why we — and our fellow veterans and veteran organizations such as With Honor — believe that all Americans should have the opportunity to serve, at home or abroad, with the military or with the national service agency AmeriCorps.

And lawmakers agree. A bipartisan coalition in Congress, led by Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., have championed the cause, outlining bold visions for AmeriCorps at a moment when the nation needs it most.

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