Unfulfilled Promises During Biden’s First Year in Office

%28Graphic+by+Sydney+Stam+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29

Sydney Stam

(Graphic by Sydney Stam | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Vanessa Hudson, News Writer

 

As 2021 comes to a close, so does President Joe Biden’s first year in office. President Biden made many promises during his campaign, with some of his main priorities being to get Americans vaccinated against COVID-19, rebuilding the middle class (The Build Back Better Framework) and relieving student loan debt in the wake of the pandemic. Whether or not he kept his promises is debatable.

“What he managed to do, I think, was to convince voters that he would take [COVID] seriously, that he would listen to the health policy experts and that he would communicate with people and in a reasonable fashion,” said Matthew Burbank, a political science professor at the U.

The COVID-19 vaccine has been a subject of wide debate across the country, and President Biden promised to get the pandemic under control, by encouraging and mandating specific fields of work to get vaccinated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 77.3% of the U.S. population over five years old has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The reluctance of some Americans to get vaccinated has led the president to mandate employers with over 100 workers to have their employees tested weekly or get the vaccine. Additionally, federal government employees must be vaccinated, along with business contractors who work with the government. Health care workers at participating Medicare and Medicaid hospitals also must be vaccinated and employers must offer paid time off for their employees to get vaccinated.

“To me, putting a blanket mandate on the citizens of this country, while we let our border run rampant, is irresponsible and another example of how he isn’t fulfilling his promise to get COVID under control,” said Tyler Boyles, president of the College Republicans at the University of Utah.

There are no mandates for booster shots, but the Biden administration has strongly encouraged those who are fully vaccinated to receive a booster shot six months after their second dose. 

COVID-19 deaths are rising, despite the efforts to get Americans vaccinated.

“He did promise to get COVID under control and we still have this problem going on, and people are still dying,” Boyles said.

One of Biden’s biggest campaign promises was to implement the Build Back Better Framework to rebuild the working middle class. The plan creates investment in childcare and elderly care services, combats climate change, expands affordable health care, helps the middle class with affordable housing and tax credits and is fully paid for by the previous Trump administration’s rebate rule, along with tax increases for those who make over $400,000.

The Build Back Better plan has been passed by the House, but it is unlikely to pass the Senate this year, as Democrats are unable to agree upon the plan.

“The problem for Democrats has always been they don’t always agree on all these things,” Burbank said.

This inability to agree on the Build Back Better plan has caused a rift in Biden’s plan to have the bill passed by Dec. 25.

“So the kinds of things that Joe Biden promised from his campaign for president, things like doing something on racial inequity, doing something with questions about the police and civil rights,” Burbank said. “Those are all things that in all honesty, it’s not clear he’s going to be able to get that done because the nature of the democratic control is so [unorganized].”

Students across the country were looking forward to Biden’s proposed plan of forgiving $10,000 of student loan debt because of the pandemic. 

“The biggest [promise] was student loans,” Boyles said.

However, this promise is currently unfulfilled.

 

[email protected]

@vanessachrony