By Anmoldeep Kaur
During the first one hundred days of a presidency, the public can gauge whether the president is on track to fulfilling the promises he has made during campaigning and the election process. As President Biden's first year in office draws to an end, it has come time for the nation to reflect on the progress he has made since he was sworn in.
"President Biden began his presidency at a very tumultuous time, not only because of the transfer of power from President Trump, but also due to the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus. However, that is no excuse not to have kept the promises he made, particularly when he promised to raise Trump's historically low refugee cap, first to 62,500 and eventually 125,000. Nonetheless, the Biden administration has kept some of the promises while making serious progress on others," said senior Laaibah Shoaib.
Artwork by Shadia Zayer
Depicted above is a cartoon rendition of President Biden addressing pressing issues such as vaccine mandates.
Since the world is still in the midst of a pandemic, Biden's key promise was to effectively manage the COVID-19 crisis and steer the nation towards recovery. Promising to have 100 million Americans vaccinated before his one hundredth day in office, Biden exceeded expectations having 100 million Americans vaccinated in just 58 days. By his one hundredth day in office, just over 200 million Americans were vaccinated.
Biden had his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020 and received a booster shot last month. A strong advocate for vaccines, Biden encourages Americans to protect themselves and others from the virus and the rise of highly contagious variants. In September, the administration announced a plan that included vaccine mandates, paid time off to get vaccinated, increased distribution and availability of COVID-19 tests and the implementation of safety precautions for public places such as schools. Biden also proposed a $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which was passed by Congress in March, providing economic relief for Americans financially impacted by the pandemic.
The transfer of power is a critical component of American democracy, as it ensures the autonomy of the government after new officials are elected to office. Biden did not have a traditional transfer of power like his predecessors did as former President Donald Trump filed more than 50 lawsuits challenging the integrity and outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Trump also broke precedent in choosing not to attend his successor's inauguration, further illustrating how complex the transfer of power was between him and Biden.
"Biden's first year was interesting because he had to deal with various issues, including a global pandemic, which many former presidents did not have to worry about. The transfer of power was somewhat smooth compared to what was expected from either radical side of the two political parties. I am excited to see what his presidency holds and possible policies he might pass," said senior Faiza Ahmed.
Although Biden’s presidency is still in its infancy, many are eager in drawing comparisons between his and Trump’s first 100 days. It is crucial, however, to consider the different challenges each president faced in the beginning of their terms. Trump dealt with issues surrounding international disputes that prompted careful consideration of our relations with Syria, while Biden dealt with how to increase vaccinations in the United States despite citizens' hesitancy.
As Biden completes his first year, the American people look forward to witnessing how he will perform his executive duties and guide the nation to recovery.