The White House is preparing to pivot on the pandemic — but with a different approach than the July 4 celebration last summer that some have subsequently criticized as premature. “No one wants a repeat of last July,” said one Democratic strategist. At the Independence Day event, President Biden declared near “independence” from COVID-19.

What followed were the delta and omicron variants, which caused spikes in cases and hospitalizations, contributing to the COVID-19 fatigue that has been a factor in declining approval numbers for President Biden. New evidence is now emerging that gives the White House and plenty of others hope that the nation is veering out of the pandemic.

The omicron variant is showing signs of fading: coronavirus cases are on the decline across the country. The White House is signaling that the new phase is about being able to live with the virus. But there is caution in Democratic circles after the bad turns from last summer and fall. “We can’t spike the football when we’re dealing with a huge unknown,” the strategist said.

Biden administration officials haven’t said much publicly about their plans and have made clear they’re still focused on ushering the country through the current surge of the pandemic.