“President Biden notched some unexpected policy wins just hours after emerging from his covid-19 isolation last Wednesday: Democratic senators announced a startling breakthrough on his stalled climate agenda. Multibillion-dollar legislation to subsidize computer chip manufacturers was on the cusp of becoming law. And a measure to make some prescription drugs cheaper gained momentum.

But all of that crashed into the news the very next day that the economy contracted for a second straight quarter. Biden and his top aides have spent much of the past few days arguing that the country is not entering a recession, pointing to strong economic indicators such as job growth and low unemployment, but that did not stop Republicans from decrying the “Biden recession.”