Manage episode 286211355 series 1325257
Sheryl Gay Stolberg, the NYT’s health policy correspondent, returned to our podcast to reflect on the first month of the Biden administration. Its approach “could not be more different” than that of the Trump administration. The transition has “brought order,” the pieces are “ a lot more buttoned-down.” Caution is a watchword: the President does not want to overpromise, aware of the race against variants, and the unpredictability of the virus. Much of the change in tone stems from President Biden’s personality: his desire to move past the high toxicity, create a “more compassionate conversation,” be “ a healer, a consoler” who “lowers the temperature” and wins Americans’ trust -- and passage of the $1.9 trillion rescue plan. Problems and challenges do persist. The United States is missing an important diplomatic moment in not taking an international leadership position and moving fast to guarantee vaccines reach low and middle-income countries. “The absence of data is a problem” when it comes to tracking disparities in the delivery of vaccines across America. Delivery of vaccines at the state level is still today “a mad scramble.” America remains dangerously divided. But overall, the trajectory is hopeful in the fight against the virus.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg is the Washington health correspondent for the New York Times. Over the course of the past 24 years at the Times, she has covered the White House, Congress, and national affairs. She shared in two Pulitzer prizes awarded when she was at the Los Angeles Times.