Jared Bernstein:

This is, of course, a concern, and we are monitoring carefully.

But let me give you three contextual points that I think are really important to think about in this context. First of all, we have already talked about one of them. This is the economic dynamic. When you have a labor market that creates over 800,000 jobs per month, when you have halved jobless claims in almost six months, a trend that typically takes over a year to occur, when your GDP is back above its trend at least a year before forecasters expect, you have real momentum.

Two, the vaccines. When this president took office, 1%, 1%, Judy, of adults were vaccinated. Now that number is 60 percent. Obviously, this is extremely important to increase that number, but this is one of the reasons why we are not going back to the lockdown, we are not going back to March 2020, not even January 2021.

And, third, and perhaps most importantly in terms of foresight, we have put in place the public health scaffolding to meet this Delta challenge. Now people are going to have to participate. They’re going to have to make sure they get vaccinated. We’re going to have to work carefully with state and local decision makers to make sure that the two relief dollars comes out, especially for people in the rental industry, but also to make sure that we continue to receive these shots.

But we have this public health policy infrastructure in place. And that should give Americans a lot of confidence that these trends we are seeing should continue.


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