Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., the 46th President of the United States, otherwise known as Joe Biden, began his administration, hours after inauguration, Wednesday, hitting the ground running, signing a series of executive orders that gave a clear indication of where he is taking America in his first term.
The orders reversed Ex-President Donald Trump’s unpopular policies and obliterated substantial part of his legacies. The orders ranged from measures to tame COVID-19; redress the obnoxious immigration policies of the former president; address racial inequality, among others.
President Biden’s executive order on COVID-19, compels wearing of masks and observing social distancing in all federal buildings, on all federal lands and by all federal employees and contractors.
Shortly, the President will launch the “100 Days Masking Challenge,” that will mandate people to wear a mask for the first 100 days of his first term. President Biden projects that the measure should be able to curb the spread of the disease in the United States.
America hit the grim milestone of 400,000 deaths on Tuesday, the eve of Biden’s inauguration. It was the highest daily fatalities recorded in the country since the disease broke out like a terrible storm early 2020.
By the end of Tuesday, the United States had 24.3 million cases of the virulent coronavirus and 402,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
“Another executive order will create a new position, the COVID-19 response coordinator, who will be tasked with coordinating the government’s response to the pandemic, including the vaccine rollout, and who will report directly to Biden,” a report in YahooNews said.
The report recalled Biden’s promise to return America to the World Health Organization. Trump had, in 2020, withdrawn the United States from the global body as the pandemic raged and fatalities flared body last year.
US withdrawal by Trump caused quite some stir worldwide but the former president justified his action by saying that the organization “failed” in its response to COVID-19 and other health crises, though the order wasn’t slated to become effective until July 6, 2021.
According to the report by YahooNews, “Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, will attend a WHO executive board meeting this week, Biden’s team said, and will speak to the board as head of delegation on Jan. 21.
“As a response to the economic hardship brought on by the pandemic, Biden’s team says he will ask the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to extend the federal eviction ban, which is set to expire on Jan. 31, until March 31.
“He’ll also ask the Department of Education to extend the pause on student loan payments until Sept. 30.”
The report continues:
Biden signed a slew of executive orders aimed at undoing the Trump administration’s immigration policies, including an order to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to stay in the country.
He also signed an order reversing the so-called Muslim ban, which prevented people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., and ordered that noncitizens be counted in the census, after the Trump administration sought to exclude them.
In another order addressing the previous administration, Biden signed an order allowing the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to set immigration enforcement policies, a departure from an executive order from Trump that directed the DHS’s hotly criticized border response.
Racial and gender equity
Biden signed an executive order to rescind the 1776 Commission, a somewhat controversial panel formed by the Trump administration apparently to challenge the New York Times’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project, which was developed into a school curriculum about the origins of the slave trade. According to Biden’s transition team, the new president said the commission “sought to erase America’s history of racial injustice.”
Biden will also revoke Trump’s executive order limiting federal agencies from implementing diversity training. He also signed an executive order that defines equity as the “consistent and systematic fair, just and impartial treatment of all individuals,” according to the transition team.
The order will apparently jump-start a host of government initiatives, including a directive for every federal agency to review equity within its department and improve the delivery of government benefits.
Biden’s executive order will enable a number of climate change initiatives, including an order to direct all federal agencies and executive departments to “take appropriate action to address federal regulations and other executive actions taken during the last four years that were harmful to public health, damaging to the environment, unsupported by the best available science, or otherwise not in the national interest,” according to the transition team.
Biden plans to rejoin the Paris Agreement, more than three years after Trump announced that the U.S. would no longer participate in the agreement, formed to coordinate the global response to climate change. Trump’s decision took effect in November.
The new president will also cancel the permit granted by Trump in 2017 for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that environmentalists say will harm existing ecosystems and exacerbate the threat of climate change.