Inside Biden-Harris White House and Africa: Presidency on life support

The ban, on only African nations, including those who had documented zero cases of the Omicron variant, should never have been imposed, and should have been reversed long ago, especially after it became clear that the variant was already in many parts of the world, including in the United States, Europe and Asia before it was identified by scientists in South Africa and Botswana. Lifting it is a step in the right direction.

I was on Fox & Friends on Christmas Day to discuss an announcement by the White House on Friday that President Joseph R. Biden Jr. had made the decision to lift the Omicron-linked travel ban on eight African nations on December 31 at 12.01 a.m. Eastern Time.

The ban, on only African nations, including those who had documented zero cases of the Omicron variant, should never have been imposed, and should have been reversed long ago, especially after it became clear that the variant was already in many parts of the world, including in the United States, Europe and Asia before it was identified by scientists in South Africa and Botswana. Lifting it is a step in the right direction.

The only problem is in 2022, Africa is likely to be relegated to the background as Mr. Biden struggles to save his presidency and his agenda amid the midterm elections his party is most likely to lose unless there is something dramatic like a war with Russia over Ukraine that happens.

If the Democrats lose Congress next November as predicted, Mr. Biden’s presidency would certainly come to a halt with nothing being passed, few or no nominees being confirmed and virtually nothing important being achieved.

Mr. Biden presidency is right now on life support and his agenda is on the brink of collapse with his major legislation almost dead. The Democrats have 50 or 49 Senators depending on whether you consider Joe Manchin of West Virginia a Democrat. They also have a slim majority in the House of Representatives that is likely to be wiped out in November.

If the predictions are true, Mr. Biden’s presidency just like the Obama’s government would effectively come to an end the day after the election and the blame game would start.

Here in Washington DC, many are already talking about replacing Mr. Biden even though the president continues to say he would run in 2024. The divisions within the Democratic Party are becoming so public that it is hard to understand that Mr. Biden has only been in power for 11 months and still has almost three years to run the country.

In all of that the relations between Africa and the United States may take a back seat as the Democrats struggle to save their party at home. And that is our take today.

Simon Ateba, Publisher and White House Correspondent for Today News Africa in Washington DC

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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