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Joe Biden, facing his responsibilities

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What if Joe Biden’s Covid strategy was just a mirror of the larks? Let us be clear: the vaccination campaign in the United States is a great success. More than 100 million doses of vaccine have already been administered, the country injects an average of 2.5 million per day, and the Democratic President is now posting a new goal: to reach the figure of 200 million doses elapsed during his first 100 days . But by capitalizing on this success, and praising the adoption by Congress of its gigantic stimulus package to 1900 billion dollars supposed to heal the economic wounds of the coronavirus, Joe Biden hides the thornier files: the mass shootings, which regularly mourn the United States, and especially the migration crisis at the border with Mexico, where unaccompanied minors throng. Of the 15,000 children who have arrived, nearly 5,000 are believed to be currently crammed into overcrowded and unsuitable structures.

Read also: Crisis on the southern border of the United States, the moment of truth for Joe Biden

No “crisis”?

Thursday, during his first press conference since taking office, in front of 30 journalists handpicked because of the covid, the Democratic president was expected at the turn. Withdrawal from Afghanistan, North Korean missiles, tug-of-war with China, Russia, Iran: he did not escape disturbing questions. But it is the migration file that has taken over. The day before, Joe Biden had announced that he had delegated it to his vice-president, Kamala Harris. It is now she who will have to face the attacks of the Republicans, who accuse the Biden administration of creating a draft effect.

Read also: Joe Biden and the challenges of a “normal” president

The situation is explosive, but the White House still refuses to speak of a “crisis”. Joe Biden had promised, during his presidential campaign, to put an end to the “moral and national shame” caused by Donald Trump’s controversial policy of separating families at the border. Now, with the arrival of thousands of unaccompanied minors left to fend for themselves, this “national shame” is once again emerging. Joe Biden claims transparency, but he is criticized for preventing the media from accessing the centers where children are crammed. Journalists and photographers who were able to get there despite everything describe “unworthy” situations.

“No child should be held for more than 72 hours in premises managed by the Border Patrol”, insisted the president Thursday, promising to act “quickly” and to look into the reasons which push migrants to flee El Salvador , Honduras or Guatemala. He also recalled that the “vast majority” of families arriving at the border were returned to their country of origin.

“I miss him…”

Joe Biden may well say that he was elected “to solve problems, not to create division”, he remained cautious and evasive on this file. He put the current influx of migrants into perspective by saying that it happens “every year” at the same time – “there is a significant increase in arrivals at the border in winter, because they are less likely to die. heat in the desert ”- and accused Donald Trump of being responsible for the situation, because he dismantled the reception facilities. He also regretted that Mexico “refuses to take back families”. Would he have acted too quickly by hastening, by decrees, to reverse decisions taken by Donald Trump? “I will not apologize for having abolished policies which violated international law and human dignity!” He replied.

Among all the subjects raised, he was particularly virulent about the attempts, in certain states controlled by the Republicans, to impose new restrictions on access to the vote. He called these attempts “un-American”, “despicable” and “pernicious”.

Joe Biden was late giving his first press conference, which sparked all kinds of rumors. His fifteen predecessors had bowed to the exercise during their first month of presidency. His detractors believe that he is too protected by his teams. The recent images showing him tripping on the steps of Air Force One have also rekindled speculation about his state of health. At 78, Joe Biden is the oldest president when he takes office. But on Thursday, sometimes searching for his words, he hinted he could run for a new term in 2024, along with Kamala Harris. He also indulged in a few points of irony. Like this one: “My predecessor … Oh my god, I miss him …”.

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