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Image: Joe Biden
President Joe Biden speaks about reaching 200 million COVID-19 vaccinations, on April 21, 2021, at the White House.Evan Vucci / AP

By GOP standards, Biden admin vaccine progress is 'impressive'

On COVID, Trump over-promised and under-delivered. Biden has the good sense to do the opposite.


Throughout much of 2020, Donald Trump failed on a wide variety of pandemic fronts, but as a political matter, the Republican president had an especially unnerving habit: Trump over-promised and under-delivered.

Indeed, the then-president, a little too eager to win assorted news cycles in an election year, repeatedly made bold guarantees, on which he could not -- and did not -- deliver.

As we've discussed, Joe Biden entered the presidency realizing that under-promising and over-delivering was a far smarter approach. To that end, the Democrat began his term vowing to administer 100 million COVID vaccination shots in his first 100 days in office. The new president easily met his target -- with more than 40 days to spare.

Circling back to our earlier coverage, plenty of observers argued at the time that the 100-million-shots-in-100-days was a nice goal, but it was also a relatively modest one. Such a pace would represent an improvement over the vaccination rates Americans saw toward the end of Trump's term, but the United States could, and almost certainly should, do better.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) told Fox News in January, "If the Biden administration wants to impress us ... double the goal. Say, '200 million vaccines in a hundred days.' I will be impressed."

With this in mind, the Democratic president did exactly that last month, setting a target of 200 million vaccinations in his first 100 days in the White House. Yesterday, Biden was able to boast that his administration over-delivered on this, too:

"When tomorrow's vaccination numbers come out, it will show that, today, we did it. Today, we hit 200 million shots on the 92nd day in office. Two hundred million shots in 100 days -- in under 100 days, actually. It's an incredible achievement for the nation."

Instead of taking credit for himself, Biden added, "This is an American achievement, a powerful demonstration of unity and resolve -- what unity will do for us -- and a reminder of what we can accomplish when we pull together as one people to a common goal."

The next phase -- vaccinating the rest of the domestic adult population -- is likely to pose all kinds of challenges, especially with those who simply don't want the protection. But there's a separate part of the population that are facing an economic hurdle: Americans who can't afford to take time off of work to get the shot.

It's against this backdrop that NBC News reported yesterday on a new White House policy:

President Joe Biden announced a new tax credit Wednesday to reimburse small businesses that give workers paid time off to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as he touted reaching his goal of 200 million shots administered in his first 100 days. The tax credit, which will be funded by the Covid-19 relief bill passed last month, will be available to businesses with fewer than 500 employees, allowing up to $511 a day for each employee.

"No working American should lose a single dollar from their paycheck because they chose to fulfill their patriotic duty of getting vaccinated," Biden added yesterday.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), tweaking a familiar phrase, tweeted soon after, "Promises made, promises exceeded."