Joe Biden year 1 overview


William McGinnis, Entertainment Editor, Opinions Editor

It has been over a year since Joe Biden stepped foot in the White House as the 46th President of the United States. There were high hopes after a wild couple of election nights, and Biden eventually won the presidency.

 Capturing 306 electoral votes and 51.3% of the popular vote, Biden finished with over 81 million votes. Even with these numbers Donald Trump continues to challenge the election claiming it was “stolen” from him despite having no evidence to back him up.   

For most people Biden hasn’t lived up to the hype so far. His approval rating has dropped to 40% recently, down from 55% in late March. What has happened so far that could be responsible for this disapproval?

Starting with the positive, the original goal of 100 shots in 100 days for the covid vaccine was a huge success. Biden then doubled the goal to 200 Covid shots in 100 days, which was an even larger goal that he accomplished with ease.

The 1.9 trillion dollar Covid relief bill passed by Biden and Democrats would aid the U.S. with stimulus money, unemployment benefits, state and federal aid, and testing and Covid supplies. This bill was very controversial, there wasn’t a single Republican vote in favor of the Covid Relief Bill.

Even with the controversy, I disagree with the side of the Republicans who said investment into vaccines and funding for Covid relief is unnecessary. At the time, some states were slowly reopening and ignoring CDC guidance citing the reason why lawmakers felt the aid was unnecessary. They treated it as if the pandemic was over, and to their surprise, Covid cases spiked massively in January. 

The economy has also been an issue under Biden. While he has created a massive number of jobs, inflation is also very high . “The inflation trend is a result of coming out of the worst of the pandemic and is a global phenomenon.  There is now more demand than supply, documented by the supply chain issues” said George Bathje, East Social Studies Teacher. “Also, after two years of not spending , people have more money to spend , which is another factor in inflation,” replied Bathje. 

The largest success of the Biden administration so far has been the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The bill invested 1.2 trillion dollars into roads, bridges, transportation, pipes, electric car chargers, internet and much more. The bill passed on a bipartisan basis, mainly in the Senate, as only 13 Republicans voted in favor of the bill in the House of Representatives, while 19 Republicans voted in favor of the bill in the Senate.

The price point turned many Republicans off but this bill is something America desperately needs after the neglect of infrastructure from the Trump Administration. Despite the Trump Administration using “Infrastructure Week” as a recurring phrase, it led to no major legislation being passed. 

While Biden has done some great things, there are a couple situations where he has completely mishandled things. Probably the biggest controversy of Biden’s administration so far has been pulling the U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. 

The problem for many wasn’t the fact that he pulled the troops out after being in the war almost 20 years, it was how Biden chose to do it that caused a lot of damage. Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, fell shortly after the U.S. troops left. The U.S. greatly overestimated the ability of  Afghan forces to defend themselves from the Taliban. 

The withdrawal of American troops caused a panic and a rush to get out of Kabul. The plan by the President was to speed up the visa process and clear the backlog. This would get most people out in months to years which wasn’t good enough. Some government officials, as well as citizens of Afghanistan, pleaded to be taken to safety.

This was a major fail for the Biden Administration and will likely plague his reputation for a long time. This also calls into question Biden’s decision making in tough situations. “I am confident that his VP Kamala Harris and his advisors are the people really tackling these issues,” said Delainey Turek, class of 2022. 

President Biden’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic has also gathered some criticism. One of his goals was to unite the country and build trust, which would lead to mass vaccination. To me, this seemed very far-fetched as the political divide as well as politicalization of the pandemic has never been worse. CDC miscommunication and a constantly transforming virus has led to mistrust and a public burnout.

While vaccination is very important, there are other factors that could help slow the spread and limit cases. Biden also needed to expand masking and testing, and he delivered recently. He distributed hundreds of millions of tests and N95 masks.

Overall, with the disaster Biden was handed by the Trump Administration, Biden has had an okay response, not great, but okay. While cases have spiked so far through the winter months, there has been much less death thanks to vaccines that Biden continues to push. 

It’s important that we remember just how divided we are when judging how Biden has done so far. Biden has tried to remain bipartisan with little success. West Virginia senator Joe Manchin has thrown a wrench in a lot of Biden’s plans and legislature. Biden is right when saying we need to work together as Americans to get through everything. It is yet to be seen whether lawmakers will finally be able to see eye to eye.