- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 20, 2022

Americans are giving President Biden low marks on the pandemic, the economy and his handling of the U.S.-Russia relationship one year into his presidency, an NBC News poll released Thursday said.

Only 44% of Americans approve of his handling of the coronavirus, down 7 points from October, while 53% disapprove of his pandemic management as the omicron variant sweeps the country.

Mr. Biden defended his approach to the virus in a midweek news conference, citing 210 million fully vaccinated persons, but said he was slow to roll out testing over the holidays.

NBC pollsters said Mr. Biden received even lower marks on the economy, 38% approval to 60% disapproval, as he contends with supply chain problems and inflation, and 37% of Americans disapprove of his handling of the U.S.-Russia relationship as Russian President Vladimir Putin mulls an invasion of Ukraine.

The White House had to clarify that even a “minor” incursion of the neighbor would be a big problem after Mr. Biden caused confusion during his news conference about what he would tolerate.

The same share of Americans — 37% — approved of Mr. Biden’s handling of foreign policy overall after a year that included the deadly and chaotic military exit from Afghanistan.

SEE ALSO: Biden’s rocky first year sapped support for Democratic Party, left voters worried about what’s next

All told, only 5% of Americans said Mr. Biden’s presidency has been better than expected, the lowest share for any president going back to NBC polling on President Bill Clinton in 1994.

NBC said 36% thought his presidency was worse than expected, and 59% thought it was going as expected.

His overall approval rating stands at 43% compared to 54% who disapprove, virtually unchanged from a similar survey in October.

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• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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