With everyone chiming in on Biden’s first 100 days, I thought I’d add my 2 cents. In the March posts “The Dog Ate Biden’s Homework” and “Maybe Everyone Doesn’t Love Biden,” I made clear where Biden was failing. This post is mainly an update.
With 53-54% approval, Biden isn’t doing exceptionally well. Given the overwhelmingly favorable media, one would think he would be scoring better. The reluctance of people to share their beliefs today warrants a healthy skepticism towards any poll. Recent poor poll performance reinforces caution. Republicans, independents, and even moderate Democrats are wary of speaking up. Left-wing Democrats are eager to share. This circumstance may make Biden think he’s doing better than he is.
The President’s highest marks are on handling Covid and the economy. As I have pointed out, both were healing before Biden took office. Unless Biden screwed things up, we were already on our way.
Based on information widely available online, I predicted US herd immunity in the spring. This calculation wasn’t complicated, given the two already approved vaccine shots contracted delivery dates. Add the other warp-speed vaccines would likely come online, and those immune naturally you have an easy forecast.
If we had the vaccines, I always figured out that the states would get in the arms of an anxiously waiting populous. As I pointed out in the earlier posts, the Biden team never understood Project Warp-Speed. How else could they have promised 100 million shots in the first 100 days when anybody with minor math skills knew this was far below what was already baked in under Trump.
The Israeli experience can give us insight. Leading the world in vaccinations, they experienced things first. They found once the majority anxiously desiring the vaccine is satisfied, addressing the remaining young or skeptical is paramount. They took a very positive “carrot and stick” path with their Green Pass. Get the shots and enjoy fun things such as rock concerts or sports. Don’t get jabbed, and you can forget doing all sorts of things.
The Biden administration and its media allies instead adopted a strangely negative vaccine attitude. Instead of emphasizing how getting the shots returns your life to normal, they are downbeat. Wear your masks everywhere, even when vaccinated. Fauci is anticipating wearing them into 2022. HHS Secretary Rochelle Walensky added her thoughts, ” I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom.”
Biden’s media allies echoed the negative. When millions of Americans had received the vaccines, the CDC told us how many of them got Covid; CNN headlined the story, “So far, 5,800 fully vaccinated people have caught Covid anyway in the US.” NBC echoed, “CDC: 5,800 ‘breakthrough infections’ in fully vaccinated people.” Why get the vaccine if you’re still likely to get Covid? However, science site ars Technica reported the same information, “99.992% of the fully vaccinated people have dodged Covid, CDC data shows.” The administration did nothing to correct the CNN-NBC slant. Which headline makes you want to get jabbed?
The administration claims Trump supporters are prominent among the reluctant. If so, why put Dr. Fauci out as your prime salesman. He may be a demigod to the left but is for good reasons (see my post “Rising to the Level of his Incompetence 2/21) distrusted on the right.
If this wasn’t bad enough, a tiny amount of blood clots showing up after J & J shots caused the government to pause the vaccine’s use. The UK faced a similar problem with the AstraZeneca vaccine and looked at the risk-reward data, only added a warning label. Predictably, we have greater hesitantly not only towards J & J but the other vaccines as well. All this has resulted in a sharp falloff in our vaccination rate:
As I said, the Biden administration could only screw things up, and apparently, they have. This vaccine slowdown could diminish our rapid economic recovery. The 6.4% first-quarter GDP growth built on solid 4th quarter 2020 gains. The Biden administration wasn’t around long enough to impact the numbers, but its actions since they took power could harm or even derail the recovery. The reopening of the economy with pent-up spending started mainly in the Red states and is now is spreading to finally opening up Biden Blue States. Continued progress putting Covid under control is essential to continued success.
Further dangers to the economy have arisen out of the Biden administration’s other actions. By extending generous unemployment benefits, many potential hires are refusing to return to the workforce. They’re receiving more than businesses can offer. Just look around, and you’ll find a sea of help-wanted signs. I get emails begging me to come to work from a wide variety of enterprises. Without workers, we can’t continue to grow.
Some people would love to go back to work, but they have school-age kids at home. Biden’s promises to reopen the schools have fallen flat. At least 1/3 of our schools aren’t fully open. Unless they’re available, five days a week, employment for some isn’t an option.
Sharply rising wages could bring out applicants, but that adds to inflationary pressures. Those pressures are already surfacing. You probably noticed this at the gas pump or the grocery store. Looking for housing or to making your existing property better, and you have sticker-shock. Prices are already rising, and Biden throws a $1.9 Trillion log on the fire. Remember, this is the only Biden economic legislation and not signed till the second week in March. No effect on the excellent first-quarter numbers whatsoever. So much for the “Biden Boom.” Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve may consider raising interest rates or allow high inflation due to wild spending. Looking back at the 1970s, neither was pleasant.
Incredibly, Biden isn’t satisfied. He wants to spend trillions more on “infrastructure.” Anything you think of qualifies. The odd thing is our infrastructure isn’t anywhere as inadequate as advertised. Among large nations, we’re near the top. Why not a much smaller bi-partisan, mainly user paid-for proposal?
Rather than contributing to the vaccine-driven recovery, Biden is in danger of mucking everything up. So much for his supposed strong points. On the other hand, the crisis at the border is of his own making. Worse, he seems to have no idea how to get things under control. Try as they might, the media can no longer ignore the crisis.
Overseas, the outlook is even grimmer. Warning shots fired at swarming Iranian warships, Russians mobilizing on Ukraine’s border, China invades Taiwan’s airspace regularly, and nobody is following the US lead on anything. Maybe the administration can buy some goodwill by giving up our tens of millions of AstraZeneca doses. Better late than never.
Look around and see if we are less divided than before the election. If anything, we’re even more divided. Joe seems to want to change our institutions to favor the Democrats forever. Nothing is more dangerous than a mediocre politician with delusions of grandeur. So much for Joe the Unifier.
The Biden first 100 days makes me fearful for the next 100 days and our future.
Our charts show our slipping vaccine performance, but for now still declining Covid: