A look at Biden’s first year as president

President Joe Biden reaches the one-year mark in office. Photo courtesy of AP

By Camille Cox | Staff Writer

President Joe Biden hit the one-year anniversary of his presidency on Jan. 20, 2022, marking exactly a year since he was sworn in to the position at his inauguration. Additionally, this month marks the historic inauguration of the first female vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris.

While approval rates among citizens and professionals vary, Biden’s administration has three more years to go, dealing with issues such as the omicron variant and rising tensions at the Ukrainian-Russian border.

Rockwall junior David Folks serves as the president of Bears for Life, a pro-life organization at Baylor. Folks said he believes Biden’s administration has done more harm than good in regards to pro-life legislation.

“In terms of pro-life issues, Biden lifted restrictions on telehealth abortions, which I think is a serious shame,” Folks said. “Not only is that mass distribution of a means to abortion, which is the ending of a human life and of a preborn life, but it’s also currently dangerous to the women who take them.”

San Antonio junior Alice Shelly, president of the College Democrats of Baylor, said she believes Biden’s administration has fallen short on some goals and followed through on others.

“Within the Democratic Party and within our organization as well, he’s got mixed reviews,” Shelly said. “We can’t seem to come to a consensus on it. I think for the majority of us, he’s fallen short, over-promised and under-delivered.”

In a Governance Studies survey among experts regarding Biden’s administration, reported by Brookings, many experts decided that Biden’s goals need to change.

The report read that several experts agreed with “Biden’s need for increased public messaging and urged the administration to set more realistic goals moving forward,” Brookings’ website said.

With the continuation of the pandemic, citizens differ on opinions regarding Biden’s policies and efforts to slow the spread.

“Overall, we’ve seen better leadership and improved facts, but recently, even he has admitted that he has fallen short with testing protocol,” Shelly said. “I think that’s definitely a fault of Biden and his administration, and he owns up to it.”

Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, told NPR that the Biden administration’s plan to combat COVID-19 — which was announced in January 2021 — started strong but did not go according to plan.

“The challenge is that this virus continues to throw us curves,” Benjamin told NPR. “We don’t have [White House officials] trying to edit the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s publications] or going onto the CDC’s website and changing what’s there,” Benjamin said. “We have some growing pains around communication, but those are bumps in the road and honest errors.”

According to the White House, in the Biden administration’s first year, 200 million Americans were vaccinated. According to the Washington Post, the country did not meet Biden’s vaccination goals on July 4, about halfway through his first year.