WHAT THEY ARE READING: Biden administration at 100 day milestone

“Over the last 100 days, the Biden administration has taken steps to address the crises facing our country and delivered relief to the families, small businesses, and communities that are struggling. More than 200 million shots have been delivered in 100 days, and every federal resource has been marshalled to get the vaccine to nearly 40,000 pharmacies and over 700 community health centers. And more than 160 million families have received $1,400 checks thanks to the American Rescue Plan,” the White House said on Thursday. “The President talked at his joint address about how delivering results for families restores their faith and trust in government, and that demonstrating that government works for the people is a key goal of his presidency and has been reflected in the first 100 days in office so far.”

Below is a sampling of what people are reading about the President’s accomplishments over the first 100 days:

CNN: How the US went from having one of the worst Covid responses to being a global leader in vaccinations under Biden
[Ashley Semler, 4/26/21]

For the last 100 days, President Joe Biden and his top advisers have mounted an urgent, wartime effort to get millions of coronavirus vaccines into the arms of Americans in order to beat back a pandemic that has upended the world for the better part of year.

The effort, described to CNN during in-depth interviews with three of the administration’s top Covid advisers and two other White House officials, has allowed the US to go from having one of the worst Covid responses in the world to being a global leader in getting shots in arms. The interviews reveal how the Biden team inherited a pandemic at its zenith with a high demand for vaccines and little supply, along with no long-term plan to vaccinate millions of Americans. The President, at times impatient, pressed his advisers harder on ways to improve the federal government’s response to the virus.

Fully aware that success or failure in getting Americans vaccinated would make or break his presidency, Biden and his team set vaccination goals and jump started the federal response to meet them, deploying active-duty military and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with vaccinations, establishing a federal pharmacy program and funding community health centers, all to increase vaccine access. And the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan helped fund the vaccination effort too. According to the White House, there are now 70,000 sites around the country where people can get vaccines.

Bloomberg: Move Fast and Fix Things: President Joe Biden went big in his first 100 days. Now comes the hard part
[Josh Wingrove and Nancy Cook, 4/28/21]

Biden entered the Oval Office in January with Covid-19 cases coming off fresh highs, millions out of work, rising calls for racial justice, and a climate crisis. Americans were reeling from the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and hung over from a presidency conducted largely by tweet. Biden’s empathy and history of personal loss underpin his response to the Covid pandemic, and they’ve shifted the tone in Washington. Donald Trump’s White House was chaotic; with Biden, an impromptu visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at dusk is about as spontaneous as it gets.

The buttoned-up style is deliberate. “Trump’s great talent is to distract you, and they did not fall for it,” John Podesta, the former counselor to President Obama and chief of staff to President Clinton, says of Biden’s team in the days leading up to the inauguration. “They had an early game plan they developed during the course of the transition, built around Biden’s theory of the country and theory of the economy, and they executed it with real discipline and precision.”

By his 100th day in office on April 29, Biden will have surpassed goals he set for Covid vaccinations and be close to meeting another on reopening schools. He’s skirted fault lines between progressives and centrists and kept his party united. These first few months have gone even more smoothly than Democrats had hoped.

Axios: Exclusive data: Biden staffing makes history
[Mike Allen, 4/29/21]

President Biden put his Cabinet in place faster than any other administration since President Reagan, the White House Office of Presidential Personnel says in a report provided first to Axios.

By the numbers: Biden has announced his intent to nominate 233 people for Senate-confirmed jobs — more nominees than any past administration at the 100-day mark, according to the White House.

Of Biden’s roughly 1,500 agency appointees, which the White House said was double the number of any previous administration at 100 days:

  • 58% are women.
  • 18% identify as Black or African American.
  • 15% identify as Latino or Hispanic.
  • 15% identify as Asian American or Pacific Islander.
  • 3% identify as Middle Eastern or North African.
  • 2% identify as American Indian or Alaska Native.
  • 14% identify as LGBTQ+.
  • 4% are veterans.
  • 3% identify as disabled or having a disability.
  • 15% were the first in their families to go to college.
  • 32% are naturalized citizens or the children of immigrants.

Washington Post: Power Up: One hundred days in, Biden has chalked up some wins by going big
[Jacqueline Alemany, 4/28/21]

HERE WE ARE: What David Axelrod once referred to as “an odd custom, the journalistic equivalent of the Hallmark holiday” is here once again. President Biden will hit his 100th day in office on Thursday — an artificial milestone that presidents and their administrations have subscribed to since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency.

So today, we’re going where many journalists have gone before, and taking you on a tour of the triumphs and setbacks that have marked the first 100 days of the Biden administration.
TL; DR: Biden, who assumed a number of crises when he came into office and has so far issued far fewer tweets and false and misleading claims than his predecessor, has been busy. Since Jan. 20, coronavirus deaths have plunged, vaccinations have soared and a massive stimulus bill was passed. The economy is slowly rebounding, two infrastructure bills are in the works, nuclear negotiations with Iran have picked up again, the U.S. is back in the Paris Climate Accord and U.S. forces will be coming home from Afghanistan.

AP: More action, less talk, distinguish Biden’s 100-day sprint
[Jonathan Lemire and Calvin Woodward, 4/26/21]

The oldest person ever elected president is tugging the United States in many new directions at once, right down to its literal foundations — the concrete of its neglected bridges — as well as the racial inequities and partisan poisons tearing at the civil society. Add to that list: a call for dramatic action to combat climate change.

He’s doing it without the abrasive noise of the last president or the charisma of the last two. Biden’s spontaneity, once a hallmark and sometimes a headache, is rarely seen. Some say he is a leader for this time: more action, less talk and something for the history books.

AP: In fight against virus, Biden looks for path back to normal
[Zeke Miller, 4/27/21]

President Joe Biden spent his first 100 days in office encouraging Americans to mask up and stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus. His task for the next 100 days will be to lay out the path back to normal.

When he entered office, Biden moved swiftly to overcome problems with vaccine supply and more than tripled the country’s ability to administer them. But ending the coronavirus pandemic, the central challenge of his presidency, will require not only putting shots into arms — a task now growing more difficult as demand sags — but also a robust plan to help the nation emerge from a year of isolation, disruption and confusion.

If Biden launched the nation onto a war footing against a virus that infected nearly 200,000 Americans in January and killed about 3,000 of them per day, the next months will be tantamount to winning the peace. Already, deaths are down to fewer than 700 per day, and average daily cases are below 60,000. U.S. officials insist there is a long way to go before the country can be fully at ease, but the progress is marked.

Going forward, success will mean finishing the nation’s herculean vaccination campaign — to date, 43% of Americans have received at least one shot — overcoming lagging demand and communicating in clear terms what activities can be safely resumed by those who are vaccinated. Key milestones include Biden’s July Fourth pledge that Americans can safely gather with friends and family, and the start of the new school year, when the president hopes to have all schools open safely.

NBC: ‘Help is here’: 100 days of the Biden doctrine
[Jonathan Allen, 4/26/21]

One of Biden’s most consistent principles through his half-century in politics is that the federal government can be a powerful tool in Americans’ lives. The belief has defined how he has navigated his first days in office, as he has necessarily been focused on curing the ills of a complex plague on the nation — a virus that killed more than 565,000 people and claimed millions of jobs while highlighting and aggravating inequalities in health outcomes and wealth.

He has promised that his administration will use every lever of the federal government to address what he calls four “converging crises”: the pandemic, economic instability, racial injustice and climate change.

“‘The four crises’ seems like a talking point, but it’s really a road map,” said a senior White House official who worked on Biden’s campaign.

As Biden nears the 100-day milestone, his plans for American restoration and improvement — of health, economic opportunity and democracy itself — rely on injecting the steroid of cash through the veins of the bureaucracy and to the public. Rather than adding appendages, the way many of his Democratic predecessors did, Biden is jacking up the existing arms of government as he tries to demonstrate that Washington, and the republic it represents, can still lead  at home and abroad.

AP: Biden’s first 100 days: Where he stands on key promises
[Alexandra Jaffe, Aamer Madhani, Kevin Vineys, 4/26/21]

WASHINGTON (AP) — As he rounds out his first 100 days in office, President Joe Biden’s focus on reining in the coronavirus during the early months of his administration seems to have paid off: He can check off nearly all his campaign promises centered on the pandemic.
Biden has delivered on a number of his biggest campaign pledges focused on climate change and the economy as well.

Washington Post: Biden has delivered vaccines. Now the hard part — getting people to take them.
[Annie Linskey, 4/27/21]

President Biden offered voters a singular promise when he campaigned for the White House: He would do a better job on the coronavirus pandemic than Donald Trump.

Accepting the Democratic presidential nomination in August, he pledged that “the first step I will take will be to get control of the virus that’s ruined so many lives.” Declaring victory three months later, he said, “I will spare no effort — or commitment — to turn this pandemic around.”
Now, 100 days into his presidency, Biden can point to a host of figures showing that he has kept his promise, from plunging death rates to soaring vaccination numbers.

AP: ‘Pop’ fans: Biden kids, grandkids part of White House scene
[Darlene Superville, 4/26/21]

President Joe Biden’s grandkids say anyone who wants to take a crack at their “Pop” has to go through them first. When Biden calls to check in, he doesn’t stop with one grandchild but ends up dialing all of them for updates. Even son Hunter Biden gets a nightly call from Biden.

Biden’s big Irish American family has been a prominent part of the White House scene during his first 100 days in office, with his wife, children and grandchildren providing the grounding that people close to the president say has served Biden during nearly a half century of public service.

“Anyone who wants to get to @JoeBiden will have to get past us first,” says the caption on a photo granddaughter Naomi Biden tweeted of herself, her sisters and cousins. She added emojis of a flexed bicep, a high voltage sign, a fist and a winking face with a stuck-out tongue.

NBC: Biden voters in Pennsylvania see promises kept on Covid. They’re watching for what’s next.
[Henry J. Gomez, 4/25/21]

Nearly 100 days into the Biden presidency, voters who backed him in this political battleground-within-a battleground say they feel a sense of relief. They see a more urgent response to the coronavirus pandemic and a more competent approach to governing, a man of decency and faith, and a commander in chief whose tweets won’t keep them up at night.

“I’m hearing people taking a breath that they haven’t been able to take for a long time,” Erie School Board President Tyler Titus said. Titus, 36, is the first openly transgender person elected to public office in Pennsylvania and a Democratic candidate for county executive this year.

NBC: ‘Grief must be witnessed’: Joe Biden’s first 100 days as consoler-in-chief
[Alex Seitz-Wald and Mike Memoli, 4/28/21]

In this moment, empathy is Biden’s “superpower,” his advisers have often said.

“We always heard people talk about Biden, even if they didn’t like that he was a Democrat or didn’t necessarily like all of his policies, one thing that connected them to him is his personality — is that he’s compassionate, is that he’s empathetic,” said Biden’s chief campaign pollster, John Anzalone. “I remember people multiple times saying, ‘He has lived my life.’ And part of that was the tragedies that he had gone through.”

It’s an ability only someone with Biden’s story could have, said Massimo Faggioli, a professor of theology at Villanova University, who wrote a spiritual biography of Biden’s Catholic faith published in January.

ABC News: Biden’s 1st 100 days: Promises kept, broken, or in progress
[Ben Gittleson, Molly Nagle, Sarah Kolinovsky, Justin Gomez, 4/26/21]

When President Joe Biden took his oath over three months ago, he assumed responsibility for a set of unprecedented challenges ranging from a global pandemic, an economic crisis and a nation reeling from political and racial divisions.

As a candidate and incoming president, he had promised a series of swift and sweeping actions to address the range of challenges he inherited.

NPR: Biden’s 1st 100 Days: COVID-19 Changes The Way White House Operates
[Tamara Keith, 4/27/21]

KEITH: It’s quite different from the Trump White House, when mask-wearing was rare and COVID cases were common. Now there can be an eerie quiet in the hallways. In normal times, you’d never know who you might run into in the West Wing lobby – Cabinet members, CEOs, famous athletes. On this afternoon, when Psaki and I walk in, there’s just a couple of Secret Service agents.

PSAKI: This is where people wait to go see the president. And right now it’s been – the couches aren’t getting a lot of use.

KEITH: Despite almost everything moving virtual, several people said communicating with this White House has been easy and nearly constant. In fact, Nan Whaley, who is mayor of Dayton, Ohio, has a long list of Cabinet members and top White House aides she and other aides have met with remotely.

19th News: Where Biden stands on his promises on LGBTQ+ rights — and what’s next
[Kate Sosin, 4/28/21]

As a candidate, Biden promised to reverse on his first day in office former President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving openly in the military. While he didn’t reverse the ban on day one, he did make good on that promise within his first week.

Washington Post: Opinion: No wonder Biden had a bounce in his step
[Jennifer Rubin, 4/29/21]

President Biden had plenty to crow about during his speech to Congress on Wednesday night, thanks to a rebounding economy and considerable progress in defeating the coronavirus. His spirits were certainly boosted by a recognition that, despite hyperpolarization, a solid majority approve of his job performance and, in many cases, his policy choices draw even higher approval ratings.

The CBS/YouGov poll released before Wednesday’s address showed Biden’s approval at 58 percent with 42 percent disapproval, roughly the same as Morning Consult’s most recent poll (57 approval and 39 percent disapproval). Morning Consult also reports that 67 percent say Biden’s handling the pandemic is going very well or somewhat well, while CBS/YouGov reports that he drew 58 percent approval for his infrastructure plan, 57 percent for his handling of the economy and 55 percent for race relations. By a stunning 77 percent to 23 percent, Americans approve of his withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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