Diplomatic crisis, pandemic and challenges in the economy: the 1st year of the Biden administration

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US President Joe Biden marked his first year in office with a speech and press conference from the White House on Wednesday. Biden highlighted his administration’s accomplishments as well as the challenges ahead as priorities on his agenda remain stalled, such as the Build Back Better bill (a $1.9 trillion spending bill).

Despite the obstacles, the US president said that the administration will be able to sanction “a good part” of his agenda.

Vaccination against Covid-19, the reopening of the economy and the generation of jobs in the country were highlighted by the US president as “remarkable progress”.

Among the measures to contain the Ômicron variant, Biden said that 1 billion coronavirus tests will be made available to the country’s citizens. Biden highlighted the advance in immunization and said the country is vaccinating 9 million people a week.

However, the pandemic and the economic problems generated by Covid-19 were not the only challenges in the first year of Biden’s administration. The mishaps also involve diplomatic and political crises.

Stones in Biden’s Path

Russia and Ukraine

US President Joe Biden predicted on Wednesday that Russia “will attack” Ukraine, citing existential concerns from US President Vladimir Putin, even as he warned of significant economic consequences should that occur.

But Biden suggested that a “small incursion” might provoke a smaller response than a full-scale invasion of the country.

“I’m not so sure what he’s going to do. My guess is he’s going to attack. He has to do something,” Biden said, describing a leader looking for relevance in a post-Soviet world. “He is trying to find his place in the world between China and the West,” he added.

A Ukrainian government official told CNN’s Matthew Chance that he is “shocked that US President Biden distinguishes between incursion and invasion.” “This gives Putin the green light to enter Ukraine at his pleasure,” the official added.

“President Biden was clear with the Russian president: if any Russian military forces cross the Ukrainian border, this is a renewed invasion, and it will be met with a swift, stern and united response from the US and our allies.” said press secretary Jen Psaki in a statement issued after the press conference.

Pandemic

The US president admitted that more should have been done in terms of the availability of Covid-19 tests. “Look, we are also increasing testing. Should we have done more testing sooner? Yes. But we are doing more now,” he said.

But in his speech, Biden defended vaccines, the booster dose, the use of masks and said he will no longer adopt a lockdown in the country, encouraging children to return to schools.

“We are in a much better moment than last year, we are not going to have a lockdown again, we are not going to close schools, schools must remain open, with ventilation and hygiene in rooms and on buses, with tests being administered in schools. I urge states to use the funds to keep schools open, Covid-19 will not go away immediately, but we will not give up.”

Vaccination requirement for workers

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked President Joe Biden’s draft Covid-19 vaccine requirement in addition to the testing requirement aimed at large companies, but allowed a vaccine mandate for certain healthcare professionals to go into effect across the board. the country.

In response to the decision, the government of Joe Biden released a letter stating that if his administration had not established vaccination requirements, the country would now be facing an even greater number of hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19.

“I am disappointed that the Supreme Court chose to block common sense life-saving requirements for employees of large corporations, which were grounded squarely in science and law,” he said in an open letter.

Lei Build Back Better

Biden has signaled that he is willing to break the Build Back Better Act and pass sections of the law separately. “I think we can split the package, get as much as we can now, come back and fight for the rest later,” the president said.

The economic package was stalled last month due to a lack of agreement in Congress.

Build Back Better is expected to dramatically expand the reach of social services for Americans, such as access to health care, and helping families and children. In addition, it will be used to finance climate crisis mitigation measures.

Trump

In his remarks, President Joe Biden lamented his predecessor’s control over the Republican Party, as his broad agenda and electoral reform priorities remain stalled in Congress.

Without naming the former president, Biden criticized Donald Trump’s threats to support opponents of politicians who take positions that the Republican disagrees with.

“Did you ever think that a man out of office could intimidate an entire party where they are unwilling to vote against what he thinks should be voted on, for fear of being defeated in the primaries?” Biden asked rhetorically during this Wednesday’s interview. -market.

Attack on the Capitol

Biden had not yet assumed the presidency, but the challenge to his victory generated the biggest crisis of democracy in the country. On January 6, 2021, hundreds of protesters stormed the United States Capitol in a riot that wrongly justified an election fraud that defeated former President Donald Trump.

A US Congressional committee is still investigating the events of that day. Several witnesses claim that Trump urged his supporters to attack the Capitol.

At least two protesters and three police officers died in the days following the attack. In the following months, four other security agents who defended the Capitol committed suicide. Another 140 police officers were injured.

Biden acknowledged that Americans are struggling with the high cost of living and put his weight on the Federal Reserve’s efforts to fight inflation.

“The critical job of ensuring that high prices don’t become entrenched falls to the Federal Reserve, which has a dual mandate: full employment and stable prices,” Biden said.

Biden also detailed his administration’s efforts to fight inflation by unclogging supply chains and fighting unfair market competition.

Under pressure, President Joe Biden met a deadline to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan, 20 years after the invasion of Kabul and the ouster of the Taliban government at the time for protecting the perpetrators of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

But the Afghan government and army disappeared when the Taliban entered the capital on August 15 – marking the group’s return to power and causing panic over its strict views on collaboration with the West and human rights.

A CNN had access to information that a group of diplomats warned US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in July that the situation in Afghanistan could quickly spiral out of control.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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