WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 07: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to the media as he departs the White House on September 07, 2021 in Washington, DC. Biden is traveling to New Jersey and New York to tour storm damage from Hurricane Ida. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Kevin Dietsch / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)
US President Joe Biden will make a speech outlining plans to combat the highly transmissible Delta variant of the virus that causes Covid-19 on Thursday, as he attempts to recover rapidly slipping political momentum.
A White House official said Tuesday that Biden will “speak to the American people about his robust plan to stop the spread of the Delta variant and boost vaccinations.”
The “six-pronged strategy” will involve both the public and private sectors, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
“As the president has said since day one, his administration will pull every lever to get the pandemic under control,” the official said.
Biden, who took office in January, won praise for his administration’s concerted effort to get the coronavirus pandemic under control. Mass vaccination campaigns quickly got off the ground, boosting the Democrat’s image as a competent crisis manager.
However, the combination of the aggressive Delta variant and large, mostly Republican-dominated swaths of the country where vaccinations continue to lag, has fueled a stunning resurgence of the disease.
Despite the role played by Republican leaders in refusing to impose mask mandates in hard-hit areas, Biden is taking much of the blame.
Also damaged politically by the traumatic exit from Afghanistan, the 78-year-old Democrat has seen his political fortunes plummet in the last few weeks.
In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, 52 percent approved of Biden’s handling of the pandemic, down from 62 percent of adults in June.
Biden’s overall approval average ratings are firmly below 50 percent for the first time in his presidency. According to the Washington Post-ABC News survey, only 44 percent approve of his performance, compared to 50 percent in June.