By Julia Ordaz
In a divided world, political campaigns are full of promises, calculated to provide solace and hope for the future. But do these promises have any substance? Biden has been president for over a year now, but has he met up to the expectations that his campaign set?
Throughout his term, President Biden has worked to reverse the actions lead by former President Donald Trump, and has worked to create a stronger future for the U.S. citizens, but in an already torn apart country his words only have value for a select few. Politifact’s “Biden Promise Tracker” measures that 17% of his promises have come true, 4% were compromised, 1% were broken, 23% were stalled, and the last 43% are “in the works.” Despite these numbers Biden’s presidency has reached a rocky point with steadily decreasing approval ratings.
Beginning his presidency in late January 2021, Biden immediately pledged to slow down and prevent COVID-19 – which at that point was taking around 4,380 lives weekly in the United States alone – by listening to science (a dig at his predecessor), focusing on vaccines, and making testing widely free and available. Biden’s executive orders have since included enforced mask wearing and physical distancing, and he has been working to get most of the general public vaccinated.
On April 27, 2022, Dr. Anthony Fauci- the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to the President- stated that the U.S. is “out of the pandemic phase.” He has credited this difference to the vaccinated citizens’ general resistance to the sickness, and their following of COVID-19 prevention protocols.
Going against former President Donald Trump’s actions, Biden has also had the U.S. rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Health Organization (WHO), has rescinded the “Muslim bans,” and has gotten rid of Trump’s “Zero Tolerance Policy” which worked to criminally prosecute all migrants attempting to cross the U.S. border, and has discarded the ban on transgender people in the military.
Biden began his term with a 56% approval rating. According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, Biden’s approval ratings at the end of April 2022 have since dropped to 42%, making him the second President after Donald Trump to experience such a big jump so early on.
The largest slip in the current President’s numbers occurred after the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan reached a deadly peak in 2021. Witnessing the number of casualties from the U.S.’ evacuation steadily increasing into the thousands- including both military and Afghan civilian deaths- on the news and the horrifying scenes that came with it was enough for the American people to commit to their disapproval of the President. Biden’s approval ratings dipped below 50% after August 2021 and have been steadily decreasing ever since.
An AP-NORC survey released in January 2022 has revealed that about 74% of American citizens believe that the country is “heading the wrong direction.”
With no clear end in sight (a complete return to normalcy pre-2020), COVID-19 has provided a large distrust in Biden’s decision making and has forced the President to actively spend time seeking the press’ support. This also means that he is facing opposition from the Senate- Democrats who are beginning to be wary of him included, and a conservative leaning Supreme Court.
Although not extensive, Biden’s accomplishments have been regarded as shaky in comparison with his “disappointments” to the American people.