1.) Biden first touted vaccine distribution. Though the 2020 Biden campaign cast doubt on President Trump’s vaccination development program, Operation Warp Speed, Biden named his top success in 2021 as fully vaccinating 71 million Americans, Axios first reported. Biden highlighted the fact that in December of 2020, only one percent of Americans had been jabbed. “At the start of the year: just one-third of adults were eager to get vaccinated. Today, 85% of adults have had their first shot,” the White House said. 2.) Biden secondly praised his administration for opening 99 percent of schools, noting he assumed office with only 46 percent of schools open. Biden’s announcement did not include Friday’s news that many schools closed their classroom doors early before Christmas break due to the Omicron variant. Nor did it include that school children in many school districts around the nation are still wearing masks despite Biden’s promise in 2020 to shut down the virus. 3.) Biden thirdly touted his economic success. “The average number of Americans filing for unemployment over the last four weeks is at its lowest level since 1969,” the White House document read. “When POTUS took office, over 18 million were receiving unemployment benefits. Today, only 2 million are.” Though Biden’s cited unemployment numbers as historically low, they are still worse than pre-pandemic levels in February 2020. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics from December 3, the unemployment rate dropped 0.4 percent in November, and the number of those unemployed fell by 542,000 to 6.9 million. “However, they remain above their levels prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (3.5 percent and 5.7 million, respectively, in February 2020),” the bureau acknowledged. Biden also failed to acknowledge he signed the American Rescue Plan in March that increased unemployment payments to Americans.
The additional money delayed many Americans returning to the labor market, fueling the supply chain crisis and 40 year-high inflation.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School revealed on Wednesday American families on average will have to spend $3,500 more in 2021 to sustain their consumption of years past, 2019 and 2020. 4.) Biden lastly claimed to have cut child poverty in half due to enhanced child tax credits. “Because of the [$1.9 trillion] American Rescue Plan and historic economy recovery, child poverty was cut in half,” the White House said. Biden, however, did not note one of his major priorities, extending the tax child credit, was nixed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) this week. Biden’s failure to extend the credits jeopardizes sustaining his touted success. Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø.
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