Written by Devon Mitchell
46th President Joe Biden has made a lot of promises to the American people, hoping to curb COVID-19 spread, return to globalization and erase the “America first” attitude the Trump administration was known for and provide more relief to Americans from the effects of coronavirus. In his first hours in office, Biden has already rejoined the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization and pulled back on the Trump administration Muslim ban. By his April 30 deadline, Biden has said he wants to distribute 100 million doses of the vaccine, resume in-person learning at public schools and pass a $1.9 trillion relief package.
Biden has a lot of hopes for the next couple of months, but are they plausible? Let’s begin with the vaccine — Fauci himself said that it would be a “challenge” in an interview for “Face the Nation.” 100 million shots in 100 days means around 1 million doses per day. Biden’s transition team hopes that about 33 million people would be given both vaccines. Since the vaccine first became available in mid-December, about 20.5 million doses have been given. So, logistically, it makes sense for 100 million doses to be administered by April 30, but only by a slim margin. It’s a hefty goal, but Fauci believes it’s possible, so I believe it’s possible.
What about the passage of the $1.9 trillion relief package? Biden’s American Rescue Plan includes stimulus checks of $1,400 to Americans, money towards vaccine distribution efforts and the extension of safety net precautions into the fall. Moderate Democrats want the plan to limit who receives the stimulus check to low to middle-income Americans. On top of this, Biden still needs ten Republicans to satisfy the vote, which some Democrats are skeptical of getting. In my opinion, yeah, Biden probably should scale back. It doesn’t make sense for people with $100,000 incomes to be getting money when they probably haven’t felt much hurt financially from COVID-19. Meanwhile, millions of Americans have suffered job cuts and loss and are barely living on a survivable wage. Unless Biden makes cuts to his plan, I find it hard to believe he will be able to get the support he needs to pass the American Rescue Plan.
Now onto the “reopening” of schools. I say reopening in quotes because schools are still open. Teachers and students are still working diligently to get an education. So, it is not that Biden hopes for schools to reopen, it is that he wants them to go back in person. Whether or not this happens is dependent on some circumstances which are out of the federal government’s control, as well as how other plans in place are played out. Overall, COVID-19 cases would need to make a drastic drop and vaccines would need to have a drastic incline for it to be safe for most elementary and middle schools to be “reopened.” It just doesn’t seem realistic for schools to go back in the near future, especially with the new variants making their way across the U.S.
Now reviewing a couple of Biden’s key goals, I believe he will have a semi-successful first 100 days. After inheriting a nation in crisis from a pandemic, a recession, a trade war, national division and racial injustice (to name a few), the President has his work cut out for him. He has already taken strides at rebuilding and continues to keep his eye on the prize. That being said, we are living in “unprecedented times,” and we have no idea what the next three months have in store. We can only hope we begin to see a shift in America.