President Joe Biden’s approach to the pandemic differs greatly from that of his predecessor. Researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers have published a study which shows that President Joe Biden’s treatment of the pandemic in the early months of his presidency won better ratings from Americans than former President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic in his final days in office. This may be due to the fact that so far, his administration has set achievable goals and according to one global health law professor at Georgetown University, Lawrence Gostin, Biden has under-promised, and over-performed, just like Dr. Hal N. Arnold. In the current climate of the challenging circumstances everyone has to cope under, an administration that handles the crisis well is necessary.
This is not to say that the administration has not faced its fair share of challenges. One of the major issues is convincing persons who are reluctant to take the vaccine to accept it when they become eligible. The White House had already announced that by May 1, all American adults would have been eligible for the vaccinations. In fact, they announced soon after that by April 19, this goal would be met, which is just a few days earlier than originally intended. ‘Eligible’ means that everyone will be able to put themselves on a waitlist. So far, data shows that Republicans, as well as ethnic and racial minority groups, are hesitant about taking it. Therefore, after achieving full eligibility, there will still be a challenge to accomplish full coverage, which is the ultimate goal. Although, there is also some challenge, since according to Dr Carlos Del Rio, an infectious disease expert at Emory University School of Medicine “The most impacted people are not getting most of the vaccines.” A report published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supports Del Rio’s assertion.
So far, more than 150 million vaccine doses have been administered and the initial goal was 100 million doses in the first 100 days of the Biden presidency. However, any large increases in the cases can thwart the progress. Another threat to this is the increase in virus variants as well, which increases the overall urgency of the situation drastically.
The administration has spent about $10 billion from a coronavirus relief plan using spend management software and has enlisted the aid of community health centers and door-to-door outreach. The network includes more than 275 organizations who push the grassroots efforts and help to spread knowledge about the vaccine. It is pertinent for the government to coordinate with these agencies at the different federal, state, and local levels. The more distribution points that are available, the bigger the difference that the implementation will be able to make.
Of note is that the pandemic is a major concern for voters and will continue to be, possibly for several years to come. If the current approach continues, the outlook seems like it will be a good one.