Biden’s first 100 days have been a glass half full/half empty sort of affair.
By one measure, the Democratic president is doing quite well. He and his allies in Congress have passed a coronavirus relief package and are making progress on a second massive bill – a multi-trillion-dollar spending package of what the administration broadly defines as “infrastructure”.
Public opinion polls show Biden has the support of a majority of the American public, well ahead of where Donald Trump was at this point in his presidency. Biden has managed to fill his top Cabinet appointments with only a few hiccups, and he’s made a few new judicial picks, as well.
For many Americans, his slow-but-steady approach to governing is providing a welcome break from the nonstop drama of Donald Trump’s presidency.
As for the empty part of the glass, Biden’s approval rating is relatively low by historical standards. If he had a political “honeymoon”, it was a staycation not a grand tour.
Despite talk of bipartisanship, unity and ending “this uncivil war”, his legislation has yet to receive any support from Republicans in Congress. His immigration policies have been haltingly implemented and are taking hits from the right and the left. The path ahead on liberal priorities like healthcare, education and gun control is uncertain.
If there was one issue Joe Biden would be judged on above all else during his first 100 days, it’s his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
American deaths from Covid-19 were frequently topping 3,000 a day when Biden took office. The current seven-day average is 707 and falling. That’s largely a testament to the effectiveness of the administration’s rollout of vaccines.
Biden originally promised 100 million jabs in his first 100 days – a relatively low bar given the existing pace. At this point, the US has exceeded 200 million, with roughly 52% of the US adult population having received at least one dose.
When Biden took office, vaccine distribution was largely being handled by individual states – and like testing and protective-gear distribution during the Trump administration – that produced mixed results.
The Democrats took a much more involved approach and, along with a surge of federal funds from Covid aid bills passed in December and February, the results have been one of the world’s best vaccination efforts.