One year on, a crown of thorns awaits Biden, lest he acts fast
Liu Zhiqin
U.S. President Joe Biden. /CFP

U.S. President Joe Biden. /CFP

Editor’s note: Liu Zhiqin is a senior researcher at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. The article reflects the author’s opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

It is exactly a year since Joe Biden took over as U.S. president. But it has not been a pleasant ride for him. Results have been less than satisfactory on all fronts, be it politics, economy, diplomacy or epidemic control.

In my view, Biden's first-year test scores are roughly as below.

Politics gets 50 points out of 100, a fail. Because America is now more divided in politics and racial conflicts are more acute.

The economy scores 40 points, with many obstacles to economic recovery, especially scary inflation. The Federal Reserve is under pressure to raise interest rates.

Diplomacy scores 30 points. The United States made enemies everywhere, and the tensions with China and Russia continued to rise. A good opportunity to strengthen cooperation and interconnection was missed.

The epidemic control score is 20, and the performance was particularly poor. The number of confirmed cases and the number of daily infections has soared, creating new dilemmas for the world to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

A mobile COVID-19 testing site on Times Square in New York, U.S., December 20, 2021. /Xinhua

A mobile COVID-19 testing site on Times Square in New York, U.S., December 20, 2021. /Xinhua

Dismal failure in COVID-19 prevention and control

Biden made several promises during his campaign, prime among which were his efforts to bring the pandemic situation under control and reduce the caseload to manageable levels as early as possible. But the reality is, the number of COVID-19 infections in the U.S. have continued to rise on a daily basis, with the cumulative case count rising to more than 67 million as of January 19. The reputation of the Biden administration has fallen off a cliff in opinion polls as it has looked clueless when coping with the situation.

Economic and diplomatic headaches

Besides the uncontrolled epidemic, rising inflation has been another major headache for Biden. It was like a slap in the face for Biden whose election victory had hinged on economic recovery and improving people's lives. There is no doubt that the myth of economic prowess has started to crumble in the U.S.

To deflect public opinion, the Biden administration has been trying to pin the blame on China and other countries. In the U.S. political circles, it has become fashionable for upcoming politicians to be a part of the anti-China brigade. For most of them the anti-China tirade is just another ploy to escape the harsh realities and find comfort in bashing another country.

Now that the U.S. has paid the price for its ineffective COVID-19 control, with other problems such as surging inflation, high living costs, heightened racial tensions and diplomatic tensions with China and Russia, it is only a matter of time before the simmering public dissent comes out into the open. It is like a powder keg that could explode at any moment, while the division of American politics and society is the most threatening trigger. 

Trump and his friends are trying to make a comeback. America's midterm elections will be a pivotal moment. The division of the United States is inevitable, the question is how bad it will be and when it will burst.

The solution to this crisis is also very simple. If the U.S. were to embrace multilateralism in a genuine way, and to seek help from the international community, especially countries such as China and Russia, and to adhere to honesty, friendship, cooperation and tolerance, it could avoid most of these problems. Time is running out for U.S. politicians.

The window of opportunity is closing fast and decisive actions must be taken quickly. In the meantime, other countries should build their own safety nets and breakwaters in advance.

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