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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Pete Buttigieg to Lead Department of Transportation

We wrote about what a Biden presidency would mean for the trucking industry in mid-November. In that article, our first point was that the...

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Biden’s First Days and How it May Impact Trucking

A few days after election day, we were hesitant to officially call for Biden’s election victory due to numerous fraud allegations and lawsuits for the time between election day and inauguration day. But, all of that is behind the country and by the time you read this, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. should be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.

The first 100 days of a presidency tend to be active for a president: rather than reacting to events as they happen (such as a pandemic), the president sets up policies to guide the country moving forward for the rest of the term. Here are some more predictions for what may come from the change in power.

DOT Overhaul

It does not take a degree in political science to understand that the nation has become extremely partisan. When Trump became president, one of his first acts was to remove almost every Obama-appointed official with his own. Considering things have only become more heated, the idea of Biden doing a full rehiring of every department would not be a surprise.

Recently, Elaine Chao has resigned as the Secretary of the Department of Transportation, about ten days before Biden became the president. She will be replaced by Pete Buttigieg. While Pete Buttigieg has significantly less experience in the transportation sector than Chao, he does not, to the best of our knowledge, own a business that could benefit from his policies, meaning less chance of a conflict of interest.

Infrastructure Funding (But Not Really)

Investing in roadways and other means of movement are bipartisan, and it is easy to see why. Everyone, either directly through driving or indirectly by having things driven to them, uses roadways, railroads, and bridges to function in society.

Biden’s campaign website says he wants to “create millions of good, union jobs”, of which road repair would easily fit the bill. But chances are infrastructure investment will be shelved yet again. Trump, Obama, and Bush all ran under a promise of rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, but none of them had been able to get much done due to political bickering. With the current political divide in the country, Biden has next to no chance of getting this done.

We would love to be proven wrong on this front, though, and we have been wrong with our predictions before, so maybe our bad luck will be a boon to the transportation industry.

Operation Warp Speed Becomes Hyper Speed

In regards to everyone’s favorite global pandemic, Biden is taking a different direction than Trump: rather than holding back vaccines for a second inoculation, he plans to have all government-held vaccines distributed as soon and as widely as possible.

This sounds like a good idea on paper, but the move has been blasted by the Food and Drug Administration. A single injection has approximately 50% effectiveness, while receiving another two weeks later boosts protection to 95%. The Trump administration intentionally held back vaccines for round 2, but if the Biden administration focuses on quantity over quality, approximately half of Americans are still liable to contract and spread the virus. These people would also have a harder time getting a second dosage to increase resistance to 95% if the government emphasizes injecting the vaccine fresh arms.

On the plus side, Pfizer vaccines require an extremely low temperature to stay effective, so using them as soon as possible mitigates the chances of some vaccines becoming useless.

Conclusion

It is a cliché phrase at this point, but truly only time will tell what happens under Biden-Harris. We understand that most truckers voted for Trump, but while truckers may not agree with the incoming administration on policies, it is best to hope that the president has a good run, as for him to fail in his duties will negatively impact us all.

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