“It’s time for us to do what we have been doing and that time is every day” was the much ridiculed answer from Vice President Kamala Harris in an interview with NBC News on Thursday. It has been lampooned in almost every corner of the media and memed all over the internet, and rightly so.

Harris has been plagued her entire electoral career by a sense that she isn’t prepared. This time the test is the pandemic, which is a major problem for her and Joe Biden almost a year into their administration. It’s a term they were elected to almost exclusively on the promise of “shutting down the virus.” But viruses are a non-political problem, despite Biden’s politicizing it during the 2020 election.

Biden leveraged that politicization effectively to oust Donald Trump, whose own rhetoric on Covid was sloppy and absurd. Yet despite a national media that told the country the virus only affects restaurants and beachgoers in Florida and not social justice protesters, and despite Biden’s own seven-point plan that amounted to not much more than demanding and attempting to mandate vaccination on the population, the virus rages on.

There are now record numbers of cases in both blue and red states (hence the media panic and the adjustment of reporting case numbers in hospitals, as the AP is doing). There is a national shortage of tests, long lines at testing sites, and school closures at the behest of Biden’s teacher’s union donors. There’s also an effort to double down on masking kids, a strategy that is likely to radicalize parents even more, as all evidence now points to masking children being unnecessary, as kids already have strong natural defenses against Covid.

Dr. Anthony Fauci stated earlier this week that the omicron variant “will find just about everyone.” CDC director Rochelle Walensky stated unequivocally that vaccines, while extremely effective at preventing serious symptoms and hospitalization, no longer prevent transmission, not from vaccinated people, and not from unvaccinated people.

So what is Joe Biden to do now that the Supreme Court has also struck down his much-ballyhooed OSHA safety workplace vaccine mandate?

Put bluntly, there’s nothing he can do. Not even a year into his presidency, he has been defeated by his own promises. “Shut down the virus” will be remembered as the most damning moment in political history since “read my lips.” Biden has been boxed in by his own promises, and his own politicization of the virus.

That leaves him with almost no choice but to double down on N95 masks for children, public mask mandates (which are backdoor lockdowns on businesses), school closures and vaccine mandates. To reverse course now would be to admit that his political opponents, most notably Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, have been right all along about the need to carry on amid the virus rather than stamp it out via unconstitutional overreaches and draconian public measures.

Unmasking kids would mean unmasking Biden’s strategy and the national media’s failures. However, to not reverse course and admit as much will almost certainly mean an electoral wipeout in the midterm elections, as happened in Virginia with Terry McAuliffe last year, as well as Joe Biden’s, or more likely Kamala Harris’s defeat in 2024. This is a problem of Biden’s own making and he is running out of options to rescue his spiraling presidency.