The acceleration of the vaccination against Covid in the United States was a great asset for Joe Biden at the beginning of his presidency, but now the challenge will be to convince more people to be vaccinated, estimates Jonathan Hanson, professor of political science at the University of Michigan. .
“We are getting to the point where the problem will not be the lack of vaccines, but convincing people to get vaccinated. Much of the population is still skeptical about it,” he said.
Since mid-April, the United States has made vaccination available to anyone over the age of 16. As of Friday (30), 143 million Americans had taken at least the first dose, and 100 million (30% of the population) were fully immunized.
Hanson, 50, holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Michigan, where he studies, from statistics, how political decisions affect society. In an interview with Folha, he did an analysis of the early days of the Biden government, in areas such as domestic politics, diplomacy and immigration.
What have been Biden’s main accomplishments so far? His government has been very effective in speeding up the delivery of Covid vaccines. He raised the target and proposed to reach 200 million doses applied before one hundred days of government, and it was reached a week ahead of schedule. By acting much faster than expected, he put the country on a summer’s road [que começa em junho nos EUA] and a fall much closer to normal.
The approval of the $ 1.9 trillion bailout was a major legislative victory. This package should succeed in contributing to economic recovery. Democratic political priorities were included, such as increased tax credits for families with children, support for public education and increased subsidies for health insurance, provided through Obamacare. .
And in what areas has he not done well? The government made atypical mistakes. First, he announced that the number of refugees to be admitted by the United States would remain at the same, very low level established under the Trump administration. This drew immediate criticism from the president’s allies in Congress, and the government apparently backed down.
Immigration remains a trigger for the Republican grassroots mobilization, so Biden’s opponents are expected to use every opportunity to call attention to the large number of people on the border. It is a situation that the government will have to manage competently or will have a political problem.
Second, the administration was slow to respond when it became clear that India was in desperate need of help amid an explosion of Covid cases, while the United States was “sitting” on millions. doses of AstraZeneca vaccines for which they have not been approved. Home use.
What will be the government’s main challenge in the coming months? To get out of the pandemic, we need to vaccinate more of the population. We are getting to the point where the main problem will not be the lack of vaccines, but convincing people to get vaccinated. Campaigns are underway, but a large part of the population remains skeptical about wearing masks and vaccination. The risk is that the virus will continue if we do not reach the stage of collective immunity.
Has Biden succeeded in pacifying the country and reducing internal radicalism? Biden radically changed the tone of the White House. It is in marked contrast to [o ex-presidente Donald] Trump, who made it all revolve around himself and continually sparked controversy, with incendiary tweets and curses. Biden is invigorating, tasteless, and boring, and that creates a feeling of calm.
It is too early to tell if this change is closing the divisions in American society. These divisions are unlikely to disappear for many years. They are deeply cultural and rooted in fear of demographic changes in America, which will make the United States a majority country in a few decades.
Republicans also struggled to portray Biden as a radical. The tactics that have worked so well to incite his base against Barack Obama seem to fail against Biden. The president has moved forward on very popular legislative measures, such as the economic and infrastructure bailout, and Republicans have decided to fight against these packages. They haven’t recovered from Trump and it could affect them for years to come.
The president has sought to lead global action on climate change. How has this been received in American politics? These actions were eagerly awaited and do not seem to generate a significant reaction. Most Americans recognize the reality of climate change and support the country to join global efforts to combat it. Those who have asked are happy to see progress.
Biden sought to give more prominence to Vice, Kamala Harris. In his assessment, was he successful? Biden gave the vice president the opportunity to take the lead on important issues. It’s hard to assess whether this made Harris more visible, but over time it may help more Americans see her as ready to take the presidency.
The president has raised the tone against Russia and taken a less aggressive Trump approach with China. How do you assess these movements? Harder line on Russia expected, as Trump left [o presidente russo Vladimir] Putin very comfortable. The situation in Ukraine is a potential trigger, and it is something to watch carefully. Putin faces significant domestic political opposition, which adds to the weight of the situation.
With China, the United States continues to navigate a difficult relationship. The two countries have strong economic ties, and China’s growing power has become more assertive in recent years. It is also something to watch closely.
How do you assess the current relationship between Brazil and the United States? Did Biden really leave behind the question that Bolsonaro was a Trump fan? Unlike Trump, known to hold a grudge, Biden is pragmatic. He has experience in foreign policy and understands that you don’t always have to have an eye-to-eye relationship when negotiating with other leaders.
Jonathan Hanson, 50
Professor at the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, where he obtained a doctorate in political science. He graduated in public administration from Harvard and served as legislative assistant and campaign manager for former Democratic Senator Tim Johnson in the 1990s.