«It has been a year of challenges, but also of great progress.». So Joe Biden in the press conference that marked the first anniversary as president of the United States. “I know that there is a lot of frustration and tiredness in the country, also fueled by Covid”, Biden continued in front of the few journalists admitted precisely by virtue of the rules against Covid-19. “We won’t go back to lockdowns, but we have to get vaccinated, and whoever has to do it, get the third dose.”
The president then listed the numbers of the fight against the pandemic and cited some record data from his first year at the White House: “From the two million Americans vaccinated at the beginning of his term, it has gone up to 210 million Americans fully vaccinated at the moment” . In addition, the president said, “we have created 6 million new jobs. More jobs in a year than ever before ». The unemployment rate, Biden recalled, fell to 3.9%, “and child poverty has dropped by almost 40%.”
The fight against Covid
Pressed by journalists’ questions about his great, broken promise, the challenge to Covid, Biden replied: «Too much has happened in these two years but now we are in a different situation. We have vaccines, we have kept the economy and schools open, 75 percent of adults are vaccinated, we are adding another 9 million vaccines a week. We are ramping up the tests. Should we have increased them first? Yes, but we are doing it ». Biden then talked about the new tests available at home. “We are delivering a billion, there are 20,000 places where they can be tested for free, we have more care for those in the hospital, we have bought more than twenty million pills for Covid, more than any other country, The work is not done yet , it will improve, we will face a period in which Covid will no longer upset our lives. Covid will not go away soon but neither will I give up, and I will not accept that things remain as they are now “.
“Another challenge is the rapid growth of prices,” continued the president. “The best way to deal with high prices is to make the economy more productive,” he said, prioritizing solving the supply chain problem. In his opinion, it is also important to reduce costs for families, from kindergartens to energy, through his Build Back Better plan. Which Biden defended. “This plan – he said – cuts drug prices, lowers energy costs, will not increase taxes by a cent to those who earn less than $ 400,000 a year. Bring aid to low- and middle-income families. I will not change their life, but it is already something ». Then, regarding aid to medium-sized companies, brought to their knees by the crisis linked to the pandemic, Biden explained: “I am a capitalist, but capitalism without competition is not capitalism, it is exploitation, we will improve competition with the help of Congress. . I have created jobs at a record pace, we need to keep inflation under control ».
Broken promises and the Republicans
“I have not made exaggerated promises,” Biden added in drawing up the balance sheet for the first year of his presidency. Answering a reporter’s question, he then complained about the parliamentary obstruction of the Republicans, which aims not to make him “accomplish anything”. It is his tenth press conference as president at a time when the approval rating of his work is particularly low. The task of nunero one of the White House to firmly take back the helm in view of the mid-term elections, next November.
The Midterm elections
“I’m a big boy, I know how it works here.” With this joke, Joe Biden answered the question of journalists who asked him to comment on the sentence of the Republican leader Mitch McConnell, according to which the Midterm elections in November, for the renewal of Congress, will be a “referendum on the Democrats”. “I actually like McConnell – commented the president, avoiding the question – we like each other, but he has a very specific goal: to ensure that I can’t do anything that earns me the approval of the people. “But that’s okay – he concluded – I’m a big boy, I know how it works here”.
The Ukrainian crisis
Another sore point, the winds of war in Ukraine. “I think Putin doesn’t want a full-blown war but is testing the West and NATO as much as he can, but an invasion would be a disaster for Russia”, he warned, adding that there will be “severe sanctions, never seen before” . The cost of an invasion of Ukraine, Biden said, would be “real and heavy” for Russia. Moscow, the US president added, has “overwhelming military superiority over Ukraine, but it would pay a very high price” for a military invasion. The president also recalled that he had already sent 600 million of sophisticated military equipment to Kiev and added: “It is unlikely that Ukraine will join NATO soon, but no one doubts the unity of NATO”.
China and tariffs
During the press conference, the American president said he was “uncertain” whether to loosen or remove at this stage the sanctions and duties that penalize imports from China, measures largely introduced by his predecessor Donald Trump.
Iran and nuclear power
“It is not yet time to leave the negotiating table with Iran on the nuclear program.” So Biden replied to those who asked him if he believed that the negotiations in Vienna on the Iranian nuclear power still had a chance of success. “We are not giving up, there is progress.”
The withdrawal from Afghanistan
Afghanistan was the “tomb of empires for” concrete reasons. “Biden defended the decision to withdraw US troops, stating that” there was no way to get out of Afghanistan after 20 years easily. “Biden has then recalled that the decision to withdraw US troops had already been taken by his predecessor Donald Trump and that maintaining a military presence in the country would have caused further losses, in terms of lives and military expenses. “It is impossible to unify Afghanistan” The US, he added, “cannot solve all the problems deriving from humanitarian and military laughter in the world“.
“There will be a moment in which there will be no more crisis, and we will get there”, declared the president, who in reiterating that if he is re-nominated he will want Kamala Harris with him again, concluded: “The country is more united than before but not yet as it should. The best of this country is in front of us, not behind us ».