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Not My Party: Hot Joe Summer

April 1, 2021

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It’s been such a long year, the last party I went to, I looked {much younger}. But good news, y’all, the end of the pandemic should be in sight!

Biden quickly hit his goal of 100 million vaccines well within his first 100 days, so his opponents have been issuing new challenges:

“If the Biden administration wants to impress us, double the goal. Say, ‘200 million vaccines in 100 days,’ and I will be impressed if he can do that.” – Dan Crenshaw

“We will, by my 100th day in office, have administered 200 million shots.” –  Joe Biden

Have you heard the latest?

“All adult Americans will be eligible to get a vaccine no later than May 1.” – Biden

May 1? So by my math, if we all get jabbed by the end of May, and it takes about 5 weeks for a vaccine to become fully effective, then we should all be back to big beach make-out parties by July.

“I can’t picture that being the case.” – Biden

What? Uh-oh.

“Small groups will be able to get together. That doesn’t mean large events.” – Biden

“Getting vaccinated does not say, ‘Now I have a free pass to travel.’ We have to do all the public health measures that we talk about all the time.” – Fauci

So even after we’re vaxxed: No large parties, no medium parties, no traveling, still social distancing, still wearing a mask?

“That’s right.” – Biden

Look, I get it, there’s good reason to be cautious with the new variants sprouting up and the possibility of a fourth surge. And that’s exactly why we should be following the guidelines right now.

But by July, we should be aiming to be golden. When the White House says things like “small gatherings” will be okay by July; when they sort of imply that mask-wearing and social distancing will be with us forever, they make the mistake of disincentivizing people from getting the jab and toughing it out for another month or two.

If Biden just gave people a simple, “Folks, here’s the deal, let’s just buckle down and hang in there for eight more weeks. Then if things go as we hope, we can all put on our aviators for party time”—with that, the country could rally behind the vision of a Hot Joe Summer.

In Israel, where they’ve vaccinated a higher chunk of their population, the virus is getting crushed, so there’s good reason to be optimistic and buy in now!

Unfortunately, on the left, there are a bunch of chicken littles who are refusing to accept any good news at all.

Look at the reopening of schools. In many Republican areas throughout the country, schools are completely open and haven’t been primary drivers of outbreaks.

And yet in many Democratic areas, overly cautious politicians and teachers’ unions are keeping schools closed. Right here in Oakland, teachers were given priority vaccination and bonuses to come back, but even then the unions intervened to keep schools closed.

This is madness!

The science both on the virus and students’ mental health all points to getting as many kids back in school as possible. We should be having in-person classes with vaccinated teachers, and outdoor sports, and graduations, and all the things kids need and deserve after a tough year.

But re-opening is also also being made harder by right-wing fear mongering about the vaccine.

These anti-vaxxers are spreading lies, clouded in personal liberty bullshit, and it’s going to slow our progress and get people killed.

So let’s all come to our senses, and do the smart thing together.

We can buckle down for a masky, needley spring, and then our Hot Joe Summer can become a reality.

Tim Miller

Tim Miller is The Bulwark’s writer-at-large. He was previously political director for Republican Voters Against Trump, communications director for Jeb Bush 2016, and spokesman for the Republican National Committee.