As yet another wave of COVID hits the United States, President Joe Biden on Tuesday trotted out his same old vaccine mandate playbook, missing a key opportunity for the country to finally turn the corner on this pandemic.

On the positive side, Biden did finally admit that vaccinated people can contract and transmit the virus. Previously, when making the case for his healthcare worker vaccine mandate, Biden had said the opposite, noting that people deserved “the certainty that the people providing that care are protected from COVID and cannot spread it to you."

Turns out vaccinated people absolutely can spread the virus, as has been happening with more frequency as omicron hits the U.S. Fortunately, as is often the case with viruses, this latest variant may spread faster than earlier strains, but it does not appear to be as debilitating. And new variants will just keep coming.

The Biden administration seems incapable of acknowledging this new reality. “We didn’t see delta coming," Vice President Kamala Harris said last week. “We didn’t see omicron coming. And that’s the nature of what this awful virus has been, which, as it turns out, has mutations and variants."

Biden and Harris were unable to see delta and omicron coming because they are stuck in a naive morality play where if the government is just able to force everyone, especially those evil Trump voters, to get the vaccine, then COVID will disappear forever and Biden and the Democrats can declare victory.

This is why Biden, again, pitched his vaccine mandate for all employers with more than 100 employees. Biden laughably claimed this mandate will “help keep businesses open” since workers will be safer and customers will feel safe in a vaccinated environment.

If federal courts do allow this mandate to go into effect, this will turn out to be one of Biden’s worst predictions, possibly worse than his claims that inflation would be transitory, that the border surge would be seasonal, and that the Taliban would never take over Afghanistan. The man is wrong about everything.

In reality, Biden’s vaccine mandate will only make the nation’s supply chain problems worse and cause inflation to go higher. What Biden still does not understand is that he cannot control people and there will always be some people, especially independent-minded people who drive trucks, who would rather find a new job than get a mandated vaccine.

Instead of trying to force everyone to get a vaccine that won’t stop new variants coming from overseas, Biden could have turned the page and spoken optimistically about a new normal. Biden should be forcing the Food and Drug Administration to approve more home testing options. He should have fast-tracked FDA approval of therapeutics to treat those who do get the virus. He should be encouraging schools and employers to change their COVID protocols to reflect the less severe strands of the virus. Mandatory 10-day isolation for mildly symptomatic and asymptomatic cases is just overkill at this point.

“The virus will not be eradicated, and we have to learn to live with it,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday. The White House is still not ready to admit this. But when they do, the country will be better for it.