Joe Biden's winter COVID plan, Supreme Court debates abortion, punk Taylor Swift: ICYMI

From Taylor Swift rerecording her albums to reparations for Black Americans, here are some of our top Opinion reads you may have missed.

In today’s fast-paced news environment, it can be hard to keep up. For your weekend reading, we’ve started in-case-you-missed-it compilations of some of the week’s top USA TODAY Opinion pieces. As always, thanks for reading, and for your feedback.

— USA TODAY Opinion editors

1. President Biden: My winter plan fights COVID with testing and vaccines and without lockdowns

By Joe Biden

“I know that Americans are exhausted from COVID-19 and want to know when it will end, and the new variant is adding to that unease. I get it. I pledged to always be straight with the American people and tell you the truth. Here’s the truth about the new omicron variant: While it is a cause for concern, it is not a cause for panic.”

Joe Biden's winter COVID plan, Supreme Court debates abortion, punk Taylor Swift: ICYMI

2. ‘A person no matter how small’: Question of when life begins is at core of abortion debate

By Daniel Darling

“If life begins earlier than Roe wants to acknowledge, is an abortion taking an innocent human life? Does a baby deserve to die simply because his or her existence is inconvenient? … In a sense, we know and perhaps have always known that abortion takes innocent life. Consider the way we assign personhood to a baby when a woman announces her pregnancy. Consider the 3D images we post on social media when a couple gets that first ultrasound. It’s instinctual.”

3. Biden is a boring president. That’s OK because he’s also a competent leader.

By David Rothkopf

“Who needs presidential charisma when you represent the last best hope of the republic? Further, Biden is not the only messenger his party has. If Democrats can mobilize and effectively communicate the stakes in the next election and then bring to life the Biden agenda and all it means to average Americans from coast to coast, then they can produce an election outcome that is the kind of surprising twist that the press loves to write about.”

4. We have the ability to help stop the spread of COVID variants by vaccinating kids

By Dr. Thomas K. Lew

“Short of breath and coughing, my 104-year-old patient with COVID-19 looked me in the eye and told me she lived through the 1918 flu and wasn’t going to let a “silly thing” like the current pandemic take her life. She was right. Five days and several liters of oxygen later, she walked out of the hospital with a clean bill of health.”

5. Reparations call is a moral reckoning white Americans can no longer delay

By Eileen Rivers

“The history of Black oppression, its relevance and the need for atonement have to be recognized by every white person in America. Without that realization, without the work by white America, reparations will remain little more than committees whose suggestions never turn into action, a 30-year-old bill in Congress that has made little progress, and a housing program in Evanston, Illinois, that is being sold as reparations but, according to a member of the county council, really isn’t.”

Joe Biden's winter COVID plan, Supreme Court debates abortion, punk Taylor Swift: ICYMI

6. Taylor Swift, rerecording albums to own her masters, is infinitely more punk rock than I am

By Dave Hause

“Some of the most revered and successful artists in rock-and-roll history have had bitter battles with their record labels: Prince changed his name to a damn symbol just to try to fight their power over his work. But not Taylor Swift. She is going back through her old work and painstakingly rerecording it. She’s singing all of those lyrics she wrote during different highs and lows of her life, honoring the old work that fans hold dear while even improving on the old work.”

7. Biden achieves historic gains during his first year in office, but America remains divided

By Donna Brazile

“Congressional Democrats need to stop letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. President Joe Biden has already led them to historic achievements that will benefit every American. But the news has been dominated by seemingly endless Democratic internal feuding and fighting in the Capitol over how much to spend and how to spend it.”

Joe Biden's winter COVID plan, Supreme Court debates abortion, punk Taylor Swift: ICYMI

8. We condemn from afar but where’s the empathy when it comes to abortion?

By Suzette Hackney

“I ticked off reasons some might seek to end a pregnancy: rape, incest, dangerous medical complications for the fetus or mother, financial inability to raise a child, an abusive partner, failed birth control. He shook his head and dismissed me with silence for the rest of the ride. It dawned on me in the moment that here was yet another man who felt emboldened to try to dictate what a woman should do with their body. “

9. Gen Z only knows school shootings and the possibility of death at school

By Connie Schultz

“Every generation has its collective memories, and these can influence our view of the world for the rest of our lives. I am a boomer. I learned as a child that public servants can be murdered. I was 6 years old when our president was killed. I was 11 when Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were murdered.”

10. Omicron’s emergence demands global vaccination, which requires U.S. leadership

By The Editorial Board

“Maybe the world will get lucky and omicron won’t be that threatening. In the meantime, the only way to break this cycle of ever-emerging variants – there was alpha in England last year, delta later out of India, and now omicron reported out of Europe and Africa – is to vaccinate the world. No one is safe until everyone is safe, proponents rightly assert.”

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