The Biden administration is set to enact a travel ban on any non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents coming to the country from India, as multiple coronavirus variants have driven India’s COVID-19 outbreak to troubling new heights. The policy will take effect starting on Tuesday May 4, the White House said.
India had already been under a Level 4 – Do Not Travel advisory from the State Department, which issued or updated scores of travel advisories related to the continued spread of the coronavirus last week. The new ban will take the precaution to a new level.
Presidents have been judged by their performance in their first 100 days for nearly nine decades. Although an arbitrary milestone, the tradition dates back to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who in his first 100 days enacted sweeping measures to recover from the Great Depression and laid out the foundation of the New Deal.
Roosevelt raised the bar for how much a president could accomplish early in their tenure, which each president since has tried to live up to.
President Joe Biden is no FDR, but those comparisons have arisen in his first 100 days. Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, signed into law on day 50, included a plethora of comprehensive policies to blunt the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, prompting debate about a new progressive era.
For Biden’s 100th day in office, Insider looked at what his approval ratings were, how many laws he enacted, how many executive orders he issued, how many of his Cabinet members were confirmed, how the economy performed, how many press conferences he held, and for fun, how often he golfed, stacking his performance against presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
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Biden secured the support of more than half the country by his first 100 days in office.
Presidents typically benefit from a post-election high in their first 100 days, enjoying greater public support than they might later in their term.
Biden took his oath of office in the wake of a tumultuous 2020 presidential race and a deadly Capitol insurrection, not to mention the still-raging coronavirus pandemic coupled with a weakened economy.
Still, he managed to secure an average approval rating of 53.8% by his 100th day, meaning more than half of Americans think he’s doing a good job as president so far, according to polling data compiled by FiveThirtyEight.
By comparison, Trump’s average approval rating over the same period was at a historic low of 42%.
Biden peaked on his 62nd day in office with a 55.1% average approval rating, just around his announcement that 100 million stimulus checks had been sent to Americans as part of his COVID-19 relief package.
His biggest piece of legislation so far was the latest COVID-19 relief bill.
So far, Biden’s biggest legislative achievement is the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill known as the American Rescue Plan, which he signed into law in March after the Democratic-controlled Congress passed it through the budget reconciliation process.
During his first 100 days, the president has signed 10 bills into law, which varied from the COVID-19 bill and a waiver that allowed for the confirmation of retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to serve as Defense Secretary to legislation that added sesame to the list of major allergens for food labeling.
Biden has signed fewer bills into law compared to Trump at this stage of his presidency, but the legislation passed has significantly more pages and words, which can be attributed to the 242-page coronavirus-relief bill, which contains more than 100,000 words.
Biden quickly took steps to reverse Trump-era executive actions on issues like energy production and border security.
Biden has issued 41 executive orders in his first 100 days, more than each of his four immediate predecessors at this stage of their presidencies.
Republicans have criticized Biden for the pace of actions that he’s taken so far, but during Trump’s first 100 days in office, he issued 32 executive orders.
Nineteen of Biden’s executive orders included revocations of prior orders, according to The American Presidency Project. As of April 23, Biden had reversed 62 of Trump’s orders, including revoking the permit to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline and canceling two of Trump’s actions on refugees.
Biden also took other executive actions to rejoin the Paris climate accord, halt construction on the US-Mexico border wall, and prevent the US’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization — all of which reversed Trump actions.
Biden has had close Senate votes for a few of his Cabinet picks and will end his 100 first days with two vacancies.
After Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff of Georgia won their respective runoff elections in January, it paved the way for Democratic control of the Senate and a smoother path for most of Biden’s Cabinet-level nominees.
But Biden will still end his first 100 days with two vacancies out of 23 Cabinet-level positions, with the top roles at the Office of Management and Budget and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy unfilled.
Neera Tanden, Biden’s pick to lead the OMB, withdrew from consideration after Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Senate Republicans declined to support her nomination, leaving her with no pathway to confirmation.
Eric Lander, who was tapped to lead the OSTP, only recently had his confirmation hearing on April 29.
The past three Democratic presidents have come into office during periods of high unemployment.
Obama took office during the darkest days of the Great Recession after the 2008 financial crisis. Unemployment steadily increased much of his first year, peaking in October 2009 at 10% before steadily declining.
Similarly, Biden’s first 100 days have been marked by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which caused an unprecedented surge in job losses. The unemployment rate has steadily ticked down since reaching a historic high of 14.8% in April 2020, and fell to 6% in March, the most recent month for which data is available.
Biden signed the nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan pandemic-response bill in March, which included a new round of stimulus checks and extended unemployment benefits. The administration is now working on a pair of follow-up infrastructure bills intended to boost the economic recovery further.
While the number of people newly filing for unemployment benefits each week remains historically high, it’s been steadily declining through the first three months of Biden’s term.
Similar to the unemployment rate, the weekly number of initial unemployment claims spiked during the early days of the pandemic last spring.
While initial claims remain very high, they have steadily declined alongside the unemployment rate and recently fell below the Great
-era levels seen in Obama’s first hundred days. Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Trump saw more historically normal levels of Americans applying for benefits in the early days of their terms.
The decline in claims is an indicator that the economy is finally beginning to recover amid vaccinations and reopenings, as fewer Americans find themselves newly out of work each week. Still, the labor market in the US remains shaky, and there’s a long way to go to get back to full employment.
Although the economy is still in the early days of recovery, the stock market has been rocketing ever higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 8.4% between Biden’s inauguration and Wednesday’s market close. Stocks collapsed in the early days of the pandemic but have been steadily marching up ever since.
The Dow’s percent increase under Biden in his first hundred days is higher than any of the other four presidents we looked at. The Dow was up 5.6% at the end of Trump’s first hundred days, similar to the 5.7% increase under Clinton.
The early days of Obama’s first term still had stocks reeling in the wake of the financial crisis before bottoming out in early March 2009, launching a decade-long
that ended during the pandemic.
Biden held his first presidential news conference on his 64th day in office.
Presidential press conferences started in 1913 and have remained an important ritual for the public to learn more about the president’s agenda through questioning from reporters.
The televised event typically involves the president, alone, before the White House press corps for roughly an hour, addressing hot-button issues of his administration.
Presidents usually hold at least one news conference by their first 100 days. Biden had his 64 days into his presidency on March 25. He provided updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, reacted to the surge in migrants at the US-Mexico border, and decried GOP efforts to restrict voting in Georgia. Biden also shared that he expects to run again in 2024.
While Trump was a prolific golfer during his presidency, Biden made his first trip to a golf course nearly three months into his first term.
Trump’s numerous golf outings were a hallmark of his single term in office, and his trips to his private courses in northern Virginia and West Palm Beach became regular escapes from the White House.
Biden, in contrast, has had only one golfing excursion so far, taking a swing at the Wilmington Country Club in his home state of Delaware on April 17.
Before his most recent outing, Biden, who was a frequent golfer as vice president from 2009 to 2017, last logged an official round in 2018, ABC News reported.
The policy will not apply to U.S. citizens, a Biden administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Lawful permanent residents and other people with exemptions would also be allowed to travel from India to the U.S. As part of existing restrictions on international passengers, anyone arriving in the U.S. would still be subject to COVID-19 testing measures and must enter quarantine if they have not been vaccinated.
The travel ban is being imposed on the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
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In a statement issued Friday, Psaki said, “The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in the India.”