Who deserves credit? Biden leans into pandemic politics Washington Democratic Rick Scott Covid White House


The Democratic president ignored Trump in his first prime-time address to the nation, aside from a brief indirect jab. It was the same when Biden kicked off a national tour in Pennsylvania on Tuesday to promote the $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan.” Now, as his administration is on the cusp of delivering on his promise of administering 100 million doses of vaccine in his first 100 days, Biden is in no rush to the share the credit.

In Biden’s telling, the United States’ surging vaccination rate, economic recovery and the hope slowly spreading across the nation belongs to him and his party alone.

On Thursday afternoon, Biden is set to provide an update on the state of the vaccination campaign, with what is expected to be an early victory lap on reaching the milestone more than a month before he promised. While the official figures won’t be reported for days, the 100 millionth dose is likely to be administered on Thursday — his 58th day in office.

The president’s approach represents a determination to shape how voters — and history — will remember the story of America’s comeback from the worst health and economic crises in generations. In the short term, the debate will help decide whether Democrats will continue to control Congress after next year’s midterm elections. And in the longer term, each president’s legacy is at stake.

For now, the fight is framed by conflicting realities.

On the Democratic side, Biden and his allies see a nation still desperate for government intervention. They point to more than 9 million jobs still lost, thousands of Americans still dying every week, and state and local leaders in both parties seeking help.


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