The President commented in an interview with the Associated Press on the main problems his administration has had to face recently.
President Joe Biden, in an interview with the Associated Press, admitted that Americans are “very depressed” by the two-year coronavirus pandemic, which led to economic instability and became one of the reasons for the sharp jump in gasoline prices, which hit the budgets of ordinary families.
However, the president does not believe that a recession in the American economy is inevitable. Biden also expressed outrage at the statements of Republican congressmen who believe that the main reason that inflation reached a 40-year high was last year’s package of assistance to the American economy affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The President called this statement “strange.”
Biden acknowledged that the American people as a whole are “really very depressed.”
“They really feel oppressed,” he said. – The need for mental health care has increased dramatically among Americans because people are faced with a sense of anxiety. Everything they had hoped for failed. But for the most part, this is a consequence of what happened… as a result of the COVID-related crisis.”
In a 30-minute interview Biden gave Thursday in the Oval Office of the White House, the president commented on economists’ warnings that the United States could face a recession.
“First of all, it is not inevitable,” he said. “Secondly, we have more chances to overcome this inflation than any other country in the world.”
As for the causes of inflation, Biden took a defensive position on this issue. “If it’s my fault, then why is inflation even higher in any other major industrialized country in the world? Have you asked yourself this question?” Biden said.
The President said that he sees grounds for optimism due to the low unemployment rate of 3.6% and the relative strength of America on the world stage.
“Be sure, because I am sure of it, that we have more opportunities than any other country in the world to lead in the second quarter of the XXI century,” Biden said. “This is not an exaggeration, it is a fact.”
Biden’s gloomy assessment of the mood among the people is due to the fact that voters are dissatisfied with his work and the direction in which the country is moving. According to a May poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Research, only 39% of American adults approve of Biden’s activities as president, and this figure has decreased compared to the far from rosy estimates given by Americans to the president a month earlier.
Overall, only two out of 10 respondents said the U.S. is moving in the right direction or that the economy is in good shape. In April, three out of 10 respondents were optimistic. The drop was due to the Democrats: only 33% of supporters of the party represented by Joe Biden believe that the country is moving in the right direction, compared with 49% in April.
The President spoke about some difficult decisions he had to make, saying that the United States needs to fight back against Vladimir Putin in connection with the invasion of Ukraine, despite the fact that tough sanctions imposed after the start of this war caused gasoline prices to rise, which created political risks for Biden’s party in the year of midterm congressional elections. He called on oil companies to think about the urgent needs of the whole world and increase production.
When asked why he ordered financial sanctions against Moscow, which had a negative impact on global food and energy markets, Biden replied that he made his calculations as commander-in-chief, and not as a politician thinking about elections.
“What will happen if the strongest country in NATO, in the organization that we have created, does not respond to Russian aggression?” the president said.
Biden pointed to the threat of chaos in Europe if Russia continues to move unhindered deep into the continent. In addition, in this case, China would dare to seize Taiwan, and North Korea would become even more aggressive in realizing its nuclear ambitions.
Biden repeated his claim that major oil companies have benefited from higher prices by not increasing production sufficiently. He said that companies should think about the current situation in the world, and not just about their investors.
“Think not only about your own benefit,” Biden said, addressing the heads of oil-producing corporations.