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Virginia Tech political analyst weighs in on President Biden’s first 50 days

Dt. Karen Hult said it will be very difficult for Biden to keep his promise of trying to work across the aisle

COVID-19 Relief Bill passes Congress, needs President's signature
COVID-19 Relief Bill passes Congress, needs President's signature

BLACKSBURG, Va. – President Joe Biden was ambitious with his agenda for the first 100 days of his presidency, promising swift action on everything from climate change to vaccine rollout to financial pandemic relief. He is now 50 days into his presidency.

Wednesday, Biden said his administration is ordering an additional 100 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

The goal was to have enough vaccines available for all adults willing to take them by July. That goal has been moved up to May.

Political experts say if all goes well this will be a major historical stamp on the president’s administration.

Dr. Karen Hult, a long-time political science professor at Virginia Tech, weighed in on Biden’s first 50 days.

“Certainly this will be seen as a key move by the Biden Administration. As the former Trump Administration is adding, of course, is that this could not have been done without the very successful and rampant creation of the vaccines themselves. Between the two administrations, it did not roll out as smoothly as it might have. There are still bumps in the road, but clearly, this is a step forward for the Biden Administration,” commented Dr. Hult.

According to the White House, 91 million Americans have received at least one dose of a vaccine, while 32 million people and 60% of those over 65 are fully vaccinated.

On the same day, Biden marked 50 days in office, Congress passed his massive trillion-dollar COVID-19 relief package.

While this is good for promises made before his time in office, political experts say this process shines a light on challenges the president may face moving forward.

“To that extent, it’s quite positive. Others would say what could be ironic about it is not only the timing of the vote on the 50-day mark, but also it has shown it will be very difficult for Mr. Biden to keep his promise of trying to work across the aisle,” said Dr. Hult.

The Senate passed the bill 50 to 49, while the House passed it 220 to 211.

“His first day in office he had the United States rejoin the World Health Organization as well as the Paris Peace Accords. He has led to the reversal of revisiting a whole range of executive orders that were put in place under the Trump Administration. Everything from the Muslim travel ban to a variety of environmental kind of activities. All of that, I think, is consistent with what he talked about on the campaign trail,” stated Dr. Hult.

Other key areas of accomplishment so far have been reopening schools and the vaccine rollout, according to Dr. Hult.

About the Author:

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors Virginia Today on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.