Joe Biden's First 100 Days: What Did He Promise and What Did He Deliver?

President Joe Biden has largely kept a laser-like focus on combating the coronavirus pandemic and promoting his economic recovery package as he nears the 100-day mark in office, while setting aside or delaying dozens of promises he made on the campaign trail.

Thursday marks the milestone, which often seen as a critical point in any president's first term and shows what priorities became the administration's focus. Biden entered the White House after with a stunted transition period because of a lack of cooperation from the Trump administration, as Donald Trump refused to concede the election, and because of the pandemic. His start was further complicated because Democrats hold razor-thin margins of control in the U.S. House and Senate amid heightened partisanship.

A Newsweek analysis of his promises and accomplishments found that Biden's campaign promises on the coronavirus pandemic have largely held up. He assembled a stable team of health advisers, implemented a vaccine distribution plan that surpassed his initial promise of administering 100 million shots in his first 100 days, restored U.S. membership in the World Health Organization and instituted a mask mandate for federal properties and travel.

Biden's critics have frequently pointed to his promise that most schools would be reopened for in-person learning for kindergarteners through eighth-graders by this week. But according to the latest analysis from Burbio's K-12 School Opening Tracker, which monitors schools across the country, that also appears to be a promise he's kept. About 65.3 percent of students have returned for traditional, in-person learning, including 72.2 percent in grades K-5 and 62 percent in grades 6-8. About 29.1 percent of students are in schools that have a mix of virtual and in-person classes, including 25.1 percent of kids in grades K-5 and 30.4 percent in grades 6-8.

Aside from the pandemic, Biden's recent virtual summit for world leaders on climate change also checked another box on his to-do list for his first 100 days, and one of his first actions in office was rejoining the Paris climate agreement through executive order.

Biden's record gets dicier on the issues of immigration, voting rights and police reform—many of which would require congressional action. Also, he hasn't voiced support for efforts to end the filibuster, which would end the need for 60 votes to pass legislation in the Senate.

Biden dropped plans to create a police oversight commission in the White House, instead deferring to police reform legislation that has passed in the House but remains in limbo as senators try to hash out a bipartisan agreement.

On gun control measures, Biden also has deferred to Congress, backing two bills that the House has passed but face steep hurdles in the Senate.

In a statement, the Republican Party lamented Biden's first 100 days as "100 days of failure" and listed what it called Biden's "broken promises, disastrous policies, and dangerous proposals."

"Joe Biden's presidency has been one stumble after another. It has only been 100 days, and the American people are already paying a steep price for his failures," the GOP's analysis concludes.

But experts say Biden's first 100 days were boosted by his focus on the coronavirus pandemic. Biden also has proposed a jobs and infrastructure package and, separately, a package focused on health and families.

Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs, said that overall, Biden's set the right tone for this point in his presidency. "He's doing great—he basically is delivering on what he promised in the election," Young told Newsweek.

Much of that is because Biden has made gains on fighting the coronavirus pandemic, largely through his national vaccination push. "He's doing really well on COVID specifically," Young said. "That's where he best performs."

With vaccinations ramping up and mask mandates loosening, Young said, the next 100 days could be more shaky for Biden on issues like economic inequality and immigration, where he doesn't poll as well and that strike a clearer partisan divide.

"He'll have to confront more varied and more divisive issues," Young said.

Vanessa Beasley, a communication studies professor at Vanderbilt University, told Newsweek that the sharp departure from a loud Trump administration also has been a hallmark of Biden's first 100 days.

"In some ways, the most dramatic thing that President Biden could have done in his first 100 days is be silent," she said. "It seems like that's part of the strategy."

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President Joe Biden delivers remarks on April 23 during the second day of the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate. Biden pledged to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030. Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images