CNN's Tapper and Borger See Political COVID Risk for Biden With July 4 Cookout Goal

CNN personalities Jake Tapper and Gloria Borger have suggested President Joe Biden could face political consequences if he fails to meet his July 4 goal on COVID-19.

During a primetime address on Thursday night, Biden said he wanted the Fourth of July celebrations to "mark our independence from this virus," with traditional barbecues and cookouts.

Tapper, host of The Lead with Jake Tapper, spoke to chief political analyst Gloria Borger about Biden's speech. The CNN journalists wondered if the president would face blame if he failed to deliver.

"And, Gloria, today, the White House would not say what specific metrics they wanted to see to make that July 4 four goal happen," Tapper said.

"What do you make of that? And if we see a surge of cases, for whatever reason, including the new variants [...] is there a risk here for President Biden? Will he be blamed?"

"Yes, I think there is a risk," Borger said. "And as he said last night in his speech, he said, look, if I fail, I'm gonna tell you I failed. I'm gonna tell you the truth. And I'm gonna be honest with you."

"I think we can take him at his word on that," she said. "There's variation in the states on all of this. And I think that, if there's a surge of cases, we don't know why there would be a surge of cases.

"Maybe it's not only because of vaccine hesitancy, but maybe it's because, as our poll shows, 77 percent of the people think that we're through COVID, basically, and they let down their guard."

Borger was referring to a CNN poll showing that 77 percent of Americans believe the worst part of the pandemic is over.

"There are all kinds of reasons that things can still go awry," Borger went on. "And I think sort of setting these deadlines was not only risky business, but I think it was a way for the White House, which has been talking about the dark winter for so long, it was a way for them to give people a little optimism, like, oh, wait a minute, it is really around the corner if we just do our part."

Biden stressed the need for Americans to do their part in the run-up to July 4 and framed the annual celebration of the nation's founding as a symbolic day in the return to normal life.

"If we do all this, if we do our part, if we do this together, by July the 4th, there's a good chance you, your families, and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout and a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day," he said.

"A July 4th with your loved ones is the goal. But a goal—a lot can happen. Conditions can change," Biden added.

 President Joe Biden in the Rose Garden
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during an event on the American Rescue Plan in the Rose Garden of the White House on March 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. Biden has expressed hope that July 4 will mark an important milestone in the nation's recovery from COVID-19. Alex Wong/Getty Images