Of course, you already knew that. But now that the political apparatchik ostensibly in charge of national "disease control" has admitted that the running of the "economy" is more important than controlling diseases, all the platitudes in the world aren't going to do the overlord class a damned bit of good any more.
Just weeks after President Biden warned of a winter of pain and death from the COVID-19 pandemic, his administration has not just stopped at abruptly shortening by half the time that infected "asymptomatic" or exposed people must isolate. They can now return to work without the benefit of testing to determine whether they are sick and/or pose a risk to others. A winter of pain and death, no matter how annoying or scary it may sound, must never stand in the way of capitalism, or what the officials are euphemizing as "everyday life."
Their convoluted logic is that since the Omicron variant of the disease itself is spreading so quickly, then people have to get over it even more quickly. You're in a race against your own bodily functions and response to viruses! You are, after all, an entrepreneur of your own health. Vax early, vax often. Be sure to hate and fear the unvaxxed and unboosted as you go responsibly about your own assigned task of wellness.
These affected workers, the politicians and paid-for health experts tacitly acknowledge, do not come from the ranks of the Clerisy, or from the Professional-Managerial Class, who may continue to work safely and remotely from their homes if that is their preference. Those being precipitously forced back to work are from the service economy: the flight attendants, the teachers, the nurses, the cleaners, the food servers, the retail staffers - just about anybody, really, that the upper classes deem to be essential to their own comfort and well-being.
A flight is a terrible thing to cancel. Children, too, must continue to learn to compete in improperly ventilated buildings, even though more of them are getting hospitalized from the Omicron variant, and the under-fives are not even yet eligible for the vaccine.
The new recommendations “balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses,” inanely remarked Dr. Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control. “These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives.”
Walensky did not offer one shred of evidence that halving the isolation time without follow-up testing ensures that people can be safe. She didn't mention that vaccinated people can still infect others if they have a breakthrough case. She didn't mention that the airline industry put pressure on the CDC to ease restrictions affecting their bottom line. So much for all the virtue-signaling talk from enlightened liberals about following The Science ™. She is unabashedly engaging in magical thinking at best, or cynically flouting her brand-new credentials from the Dr. Oz School of Charlatanry at worst.
As for Biden, he seems to have just given up, pivoting from waging a war on COVID to pleading that COVID is not really his problem. Here he is, via the New York Times, taking a page straight out of the Republican playbook of bashing centralized federal solutions to problems and crises, and championing states' rights instead:
In a conference call with governors on Monday, President Biden spoke of cooperation at various levels of government. Asa Hutchinson, the Republican governor of Arkansas, praised the president’s plan to give away 500 million rapid at-home tests, but said that federal efforts to stanch the infections must yield to state remedies.
“Look, there is no federal solution,” Mr. Biden replied. “This gets solved at the state level.”
"Ultimately it gets down to where the rubber meets the road, and that’s where the patient is in need of help or preventing the need for help,” he added.
The best translation I can come up with for that glob of gibberish is that Biden is throwing tens of millions of Americans right under the neoliberal wheels of the bus that go round and round. And it will be up to the roadkill patients themselves to get help. Or, if they are irresponsibly unvaxxed or unboosted, they are not to expect any help at all from the government. And that includes scoring those free at-home tests that Biden may or may not provide.
Medical ethicists may be aghast and appalled at the ignorance and cruelty on full display at the very highest levels of the Bipartisan Party (h/t Gary Shteyngart), but CEOs and corporate boards and investors are ecstatic about the recent Expendability Directive, especially if they themselves have the luxury of working remotely and not having to risk being infected by the forced labor pool.
As one Ivy League health expert cherry-picked by the Times put it about the lack of testing at the end of the new truncated isolation periods: "Given the tests are not widely available it's a reasonable approach."
He may as well have said that given the lack of food, allowing people to starve to death is also a reasonable approach. It's all about the enlightened laws of Cause and Effect.
And just as "everyday life" is their code for working till you drop, the constant litany of Follow the Science™ turns out to be nothing but plutocratic code for their true and everlasting mantra: Follow the Money.