As he nears the end of his first year in office, President Biden’s unfulfilled promises on containing the coronavirus epidemic have become clear, as omicron continues to spread across the country.
The numbers are way down
While Biden’s approval numbers have plummeted on subjects like the economy and inflation, he has traditionally gotten higher marks for his management of COVID-19, which also declined over the past year.
According to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll, 53% of people approve of Biden’s handling of the coronavirus, down from 69 percent when he first assumed office, with a significant dip among Independent voters.
The decline comes as the White House attempts to refocus its coronavirus messaging on hospitalizations and deaths, rather than the number of cases.
When Biden assumed office on Jan. 20, the seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases per day was 193,002. During the summer, the number fell, but on Monday, it soared to 240,408 new cases a day, the highest rate under the Biden presidency.
President of the United States Joe Biden and First Lady of the United States Jill Biden arrive in Greenville, Delaware on December 29, 2021 pic.twitter.com/06wOAOd0XL
— Kyle Mazza (@KyleMazzaWUNF) December 30, 2021
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, confirmed on Friday the pandemic is having a negative impact on Biden’s polling.
“We are going through a very difficult period in our country,” she remarked. “We’re still fighting COVID, and a lot of people, including ourselves, believed we’d be over it.”
Biden, who recently declared “your word is the single biggest value you have,” made large promises on COVID-19 during his campaign that have yet to be fulfilled.
Despite his repeated promises to “turn off the virus,” the number of deaths under his watch have overtaken those under Trump’s, despite the widespread availability of vaccines that were not available under the previous president.
In the weeks following the 2020 election, Vice President Kamala Harris repeated what Biden said on Twitter, stating she and Biden will “bring this infection under control.”
Joe Biden's Approval Rating Falls Even Lower than Kamala's 📉 https://t.co/wqRO2pu8YQ
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) December 30, 2021
In addition, Biden changed his mind about vaccine mandates. He told reporters, while still president-elect, he didn’t think COVID-19 vaccine mandates would be necessary and said he “would not demand it be mandatory.”
During a July press conference, Psaki reaffirmed mandating the vaccine is “not the federal government’s duty.”
In September, amid the latest influx of illnesses linked to the delta strain, Biden broke his word, releasing a six-part strategy to halt the spread. This included vaccine mandates for federal personnel, contractors, and private companies with 100 or more employees.
From both sides of the political aisle, the Biden government has been chastised over video footage showing passengers waiting in enormous lines for hours to get a COVID-19 test, ahead of the busy holiday travel season.
Biden promised to change the testing problems the past administration had; following his inauguration, Biden signed an executive order designating a COVID-19 response coordinator to oversee the delivery of tests.
Biden said this week his efforts turned up short, and he committed to making 500 million coronavirus tests accessible for free. However, the administration has yet to finalize a deal to purchase the tests; no date has been set for delivery.