Assessing President Joe Biden’s term thus far

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After an intense race and a rough transition of power, Joe Biden has now been the president of the United States for nine months. In that time, he has been able to accomplish or begin to accomplish, many of his campaign promises, according to the Politifact website, which tracks Biden’s campaign promises and his progress on each one. Like many others, I voted for Biden not because I believed he would be the best president this country has seen, but because to me, he was the most promising candidate. This is not to say that I voted for Biden simply because I did not like former President Donald Trump. Biden’s campaign promises appealed to me. Specifically, his promises to get COVID-19 under control, initiate stricter gun laws and begin to end the war in Afghanistan. 

Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS President-elect Joe Biden addresses the nation after joining Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in being named the victors in the presidential election on November 7, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware.

Since Biden has been in office, not only have vaccines been made available in the U.S., the number of COVID-19 cases as a whole and deaths from COVID-19 have been declining, according to Politifact. Obviously, Biden has not solved the COVID-19 problem, but he has made it a priority to make sure it is taken seriously, such as calling for mask mandates and social distancing in public spaces, as he stated in one of his first interviews with Vice President Kamala Harris, according to BBC News. While has not yet fulfilled his promise, he has steadily worked toward doing so, as the numbers since his taking office demonstrate. According to Politifact, those numbers include infections down 61% and vaccinations up 85%.

Biden also promised during his campaign to end the wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East. Biden did pull troops out of Afghanistan in an effort to end the ongoing war, according to Politifact, although, I think Biden could have handled the situation much better. A Reuters article by Steve Holland and Trevor Hunnicutt reported that at least 12 U.S. troops were killed and 15 wounded during the removal period. 

While Biden’s heart was in the right place in his desire to end the conflict in Afghanistan by removing U.S. troops from the country, his head was not. In a speech made on Aug. 16, Biden attempted to explain his decision:

“When I came into office, I inherited a deal that President Trump negotiated with the Taliban. Under his agreement, U.S. forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1, 2021… The choice I had to make, as your President, was either to follow through on that agreement or be prepared to go back to fighting the Taliban in the middle of the spring fighting season.” 

Biden failed the troops who were lost in Afghanistan by not providing a foolproof plan for all of the stationed troops, and their weaponry, to leave at the same time. This tragedy might have been prevented with a well thought out plan.

Another of Biden’s campaign promises was stricter gun laws, more specifically, banning the manufacture and sale of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. With the high number of school shootings in the U.S., it was no surprise that many people, including me, clung to Biden’s promise for reform. As of Oct. 1, Biden had yet to make any official movement toward fulfilling this promise, which is very disappointing, especially given increasing gun violence and the growing fear of it in society.

Biden has taken many steps toward making this country better. In nine months, according to Politifact, Biden has started the process of fulfilling 42% of his promises and has completed 12% of them. While he may not be a perfect president, Biden was the better choice.

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