- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 29, 2021

Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday said “American aspiration” defined the first 100 days of the Biden presidency as she tied an improving economic outlook to Democrats’ big-spending plans and a vaccine rollout that is starting to show dividends but risks stalling out.

The Commerce Department reported the economy is creeping back to pre-pandemic levels due to relaxed restrictions and higher consumer spending, expanding 1.6% in the first quarter compared to 1.1% in the final quarter of last year.

“Things are looking up. America is once again on the move and that’s — in big part — thanks to exactly what’s happening here in this stadium,” Ms. Harris said at a mass-vaccination site at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. “People can walk right into this stadium and get vaccinated.”

President Biden and Ms. Harris are touring America to pitch an agenda that’s polling well but angering Republicans, who say the White House is spending with abandon and has failed to unify Washington as promised.

Ms. Harris toured the vaccination site with Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Maryland Democrat, and Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health before delivering a speech in support of Democrats’ trillion-dollar plans.



Ms. Harris said the massive coronavirus-relief package that Democrats muscled through Congress has helped Americans pay their bills.

“Some said it was too big, but we went for it anyway. And the American people rallied around it,” she said.

Ms. Harris said they’re not done, pivoting to Mr. Biden’s goals for infrastructure. She said Americans tried to connect via the internet during the pandemic, but many still cannot afford broadband, and that plans to offer universal pre-kindergarten and affordable child care will keep parents in the workforce.

The ambitious plans face a skeptical Congress, where Republicans say bigger taxes on investors and others are no way to juice an economy that was rebounding, anyway, from bipartisan work in 2020 and vaccines that were developed under former President Donald Trump.

Mr. Biden easily beat his own goal of 200 million vaccine shots in his first 100 days. More than half of U.S. adults have received at least one dose of a vaccine and two-thirds of seniors are fully vaccinated, resulting in a drop in COVID-19 deaths.

Sparking widespread immunity to the virus will be a tougher job. States are reporting lagging demand as the rollout opens up to all ages.

The Biden administration, hoping to spur interest, is describing vaccination as a “patriotic duty” that will speed the path normalcy.

“Getting the shot is about not only taking care of ourselves, it’s about loving our neighbor. It’s about being responsible to our community,” Ms. Harris said during her Baltimore tour. “It’s about lifting up the whole, and that’s what you all are doing.”

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