A Summer To Do List for Democrats: Defeat COVID, Defend Democracy, Keep Creating Jobs

Simon Rosenberg
7 min readJun 9, 2021

While there is much on the plate of the new majorities, Democrats should consider making it clear they have three priorities for the summer — defeating COVID, defending our democracy and keep creating jobs. By firmly establishing what we are fighting for and getting done now, Democrats will potentially be able to take on even more in the fall and winter, including tackling climate change, investing in infrastructure, long overdue reforms of our immigration system and other elements of the President’s economic proposals essential to the country’s future. Let’s take each of the three summer priorities in turn:

Defeat COVID — While we have made a great deal of progress here at home, COVID will not be defeated here in the US until it is defeated everywhere. Democrats must continue to lead the effort to end COVID in America, while also launching a massive very American effort to end throughout the world.

Creating a successful global mobilization against COVID has many benefits for the US beyond protecting our people (and allowing the economy to come back to life) and the obvious humanitarian imperative — it can help reinvigorate the global liberal order; strengthen American alliances throughout the world; renew American soft power; and prevent societal and economic erosion in the developing world that will both set countries back for decades and can in some cases lead to destabilizing, extremist politics.

For me, the moment Biden faces now is more akin to 1945–1946 than 1932–1933, or 1964–1965. The world is suffering a collective trauma, and we must defeat the enemy and then do what Biden is so committed to doing — build back better, here, and throughout the world. The opportunity for American global leadership here is immense, and should be seized by the heirs of FDR and Truman.

Defend Democracy — Joe Biden has repeatedly said that we are now in a renewed and very American struggle of democracy versus autocracy throughout the world, and that America must demonstrate that “democracy still works.” And while the President will begin to further define his vision for what this means for American foreign policy in his European trip this week, the urgent front in this new battle is here in America, as a radicalized…

Simon Rosenberg

I run NDN/NPI, a DC think tank. Clinton & DNC alum, Tufts grad, Aspen Crown Fellow. Father of 3 great kids, truly lucky husband. Proud globalist.