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Tyler Cowen

Biden’s Covid Diagnosis Is a Wake-Up Call for America

Americans may want to be done with the pandemic, but the pandemic is not done with them.

Joe Biden at the White House, January 29, 2021. 

Joe Biden at the White House, January 29, 2021. 

Photographer: JIM WATSON/AFP

The news that President Joe Biden has tested positive for Covid should serve as a wake-up call for the rest of us: Almost three years on, the pandemic is still not going very well.

Perhaps it’s human nature to put bad news out of mind. Still, one reason so many people have chosen to ignore Covid-19 may be that they are wary, and weary, of public health authorities. If people admit Covid is still a big problem, they are implicitly giving regulators permission to control their lives once again. But people are tired of lockdowns, mandatory testing, canceled school sessions and travel restrictions. And so they are fighting back with the ultimate form of non-violent resistance — forgetting about the issue altogether.