Biden's 100 days in office: Is America back open? COVID outbreak check, status of schools, mask guidelines

6 mins read

President Biden is now 100 days into his term in office, a marker that leaders often point to when promising to hit the ground running and get things done for the American people. Here is what he has accomplished — and what remains the same — when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.

Case numbers and vaccinations

On Jan. 20, the day of Biden’s inauguration, there where 188,530 reported new COVID-19 cases, with a seven-day moving average of 194,061, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most recent day reported, April 27, had 50,061 new cases and a seven-day average of 53,934.

The sharp decline began following a spike during the holiday season but also at a point when vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson became increasingly available to the general public. According to the CDC, more than 98 million people in the U.S. are fully vaccinated, with more than 142 million having received at least one dose of a vaccine, as of April 28.



With children not known to spread the virus or suffer from it as significantly as adults, school shutdowns have been frustrating for many families in states that have continued to keep them closed. Biden himself does not have the power to open or close schools, but he has supported a gradual opening process that would result in most being open by his 100th day in office.

Biden was criticized in February when the White House revealed that this bar was lower than expected, as the administration’s goal for reopening was limited to K-8 schools, and that they considered a school open if it provided just one day of in-person teaching per week.

Biden then claimed that the one-day-a-week message was “a mistake in the communication,” and that his goal was to have a majority of schools open five days a week by the time he reached 100 days in office.

While most elementary schools in the country have opened to some degree, many continue to be partially or fully remote, requiring students to be at home.

Areas such as New York City provide options for those who want fully remote, fully in-person, or a hybrid experience, with testing required for children going to school in person.


The economic shutdown that occurred as a response to the pandemic has crushed businesses nationwide. Most states have reopened to some degree, but several still require certain types of businesses to remain closed.


Even for businesses that are allowed to open, most states continue to impose restrictions such as caps on how many people are permitted at one time.

As a result of the ongoing restrictions, many industries continue to suffer even as the pandemic itself lessens in severity due to vaccines. In Florida, for example, the cruise industry has been effectively shut down due to CDC sailing restrictions that the state is fighting in federal court.


Before being elected president, Biden supported the concept of a nationwide mask mandate. Since the federal government likely does not have the power to do that, the president instituted a mandate on federal property on his first day in office.

As of Thursday, 25 states still had some degree of mask requirement, according to data collected by the New York Times.


Republicans have been pushing back against mask requirements, especially now that there are three vaccine options, a significant portion of the population has already received at least one dose, and case numbers are plummetting.  Administration officials had been criticized for their failure to provide new guidance over wearing face masks, but on Tuesday the CDC finally provided an update.

In a White House briefing, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that science shows there are “many situations” where fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask, “particularly if they are outdoors.”


Walensky said those who are fully vaccinated — 14 days post-second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks past the Johnson & Johnson one-dose jab — can attend a small outdoor gathering with people who are vaccinated or unvaccinated, or dine with friends from multiple households without a mask. The CDC also said a person does not need masks if they are walking, running, or biking outside alone or with members of their household, whether the person has been vaccinated or not.

Fox News’ Alexandra Hein and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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