Biden's second Covid isolation is proving to be hugely consequential

Even some White House staffers said they felt a certain degree of whiplash, and Biden himself has mused to confidants at the sudden turn of events.
Monday, July 25When Biden's top Cabinet officials and national security advisers met with him on his fourth day of Covid isolation, the President's nose had mostly stopped running.
He'd already spent time examining a small-scale model of the house that intelligence officials constructed and carried to the White House Situation Room in a worn wooden box.
He'd started working out again in the White House gym.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)He'd taken to strolling out to the White House balcony to wave at visitors below.
Saturday, July 30After 11 days without leaving the White House, Biden was ready to break free.
So, the news delivered by the White House medical team was less than welcome: "By the way," Biden recounted being told, " it's back ."
But it foiled his plans to escape the White House, a building he'd already come to view as a gilded cage, even before he was stuck there alone for more than two weeks.
At the White House, national security officials saw indications that Beijing was positioning itself for further provocations, including firing missiles and sending fighter jets across the Taiwan Strait.
Sen. Joe Manchin sealed the deal reviving President Joe Biden's big economic, health care and climate bill.
And at the White House, the Chinese ambassador to Washington had been brought in for a formal protest.
And after 16 days without leaving the White House, Biden hoped a surprisingly strong employment report -- 528,000 jobs added in July -- might be the perfect opportunity to finally break his isolation.