Biden’s first year had its highlights

Jacob Godicz, staff writer

In late January of last year, President Joe Biden began his presidency with a promise to help heal the wounds of a nation divided against itself. While the nation still remains split down the middle on many hot button issues, the Biden administration’s first year in charge has been a busy one.
One of Biden’s top priorities upon entering office was getting COVID-19 under control. Biden’s “Path out of the Pandemic’’ plan had six layers: getting as many vaccinations out as possible, protecting the vaccinated civilians, keeping schools open while keeping kids safe, increasing places requiring masks and tests, protecting the economy and upgrading the care for those who have COVID-19. According to NBC, since the start of his presidency, more than 500 million doses of the vaccine have been administered throughout the U.S.
“Biden’s plan was well thought out and is working,” said Lohrne Edmonton, a history major at Collins College.
In Biden’s first 100 days, he signed several executive orders reversing many policies enacted by the Trump presidency. He rejoined the World Health Organization and Paris Climate Accord, and abolished a travel ban largely targeted at countries with high Muslim populations. Biden also halted the construction of the border wall, and shut down the Keystone XL pipeline.
“While being better for the environment, it [closing the pipeline] isn’t the best way to solve such problems,” said Belize Ellis, a sophomore.
One of the policies Biden did keep from the Trump presidency was the decision to pull forces out of Afghanistan. The evacuation ultimately led to the Taliban restoring their power in the region.
“He left millions in equipment and 13 lives in Afghanistan,” said Sebastian Kond, sophomore.
Another feature of Biden’s first year has been a rise in gas prices. According to the Energy Information Administration, gas prices are at a high that hasn’t been seen since 2014. In a story published by Forbes Magazine, the main reasons for this spike in gas prices are that demand reduced during the pandemic since people weren’t traveling. Now that demand is back, the oil companies have struggled to bring production back to pre-pandemic levels, which has led to a lack of oil, and an increase in prices.
“Everytime I fill up my gas tank it’s significantly more money. I remember when I first started driving I was paying about $25 a tank, and now I’m paying about $35,” said Matthew Hebert, a senior.
Perhaps the most significant statistic released during the Biden presidency is the economic recovery. An article published in the New York Time included statistics showing that the gross domestic product — the broadest measure of the nation’s production of goods and services — expanded by 1.7 percent in the final three months of 2021 after adjusting for inflation, the Commerce Department announced Thursday. For the full year, the economy grew 5.7 percent, the largest annual increase since 1984.