Analysis: Delta variant upends politicians’ COVID calculus

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s administration drew up a strategy to contain one coronavirus strain, then another showed up that’s much more contagious. Republican governors opposed to pandemic mandates were also counting on a backdrop of declining cases, but unvaccinated patients are crowding red-state hospitals. This week Biden finally met his goal of 70% of U.S. adults having received at least one COVID-19 shot. There was little to celebrate with new cases averaging more than 70,000 a day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is drawing criticism for its off-and-on masking recommendations. And GOP-led Florida and Texas accounted for about one-third of new cases nationally in the past week.

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