Biden signs a series of executive orders, memoranda, and agency directives. These are his first steps in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and the repeal of certain rules signed by former President Donald Trump.
There’s no better time to start than today, Biden told reporters in the Oval Office as he began signing a stack of executive orders and memoranda. I’m going to keep the promises I made to the American people.
With a stroke of his pen, Biden stopped funding Trump’s border wall, lifted his immigration ban that primarily targeted Muslim countries, and defended the progressive environmental and diversity policies that Trump had blocked for four years.
Biden also rebuffed several attempts by Trump to withdraw from international agreements to begin the process of joining the Paris Climate Agreement and end the U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization – where Dr. Anthony Fauci, the administration’s top infectious disease expert, will lead the U.S. delegation.
The first action was to allow federal funds to be hidden – a breakthrough in Trump’s approach to pandemic control, which repeatedly downplayed the significance of the virus. Biden also appointed a coronavirus coordinator to oversee White House efforts to distribute vaccines and medical supplies.
Press secretary Jen Psaki and other senior Biden officials told reporters on the eve of his inauguration that the first day’s action is only part of what will become a series of actions aimed at reversing the Trump administration and delivering on Biden’s campaign promises in his first weeks in office.
According to a draft calendar document sent to allies of the administration and seen by CNN, he plans to track inauguration day by focusing on a specific theme each day in January.
Thursday, the first full day of Biden’s work will be devoted to the coronavirus pandemic, and Friday will be devoted to Biden’s efforts to bring economic relief – including executive orders restoring collective rights to federal employees and directing agencies to act on social welfare programs, including Medicaid and the unemployment insurance program.
Next week, the following topics will be covered: Buy American, with an executive order Monday toughening requirements for government purchases of goods and services from U.S. companies; Equality, Tuesday, tied to efforts to abolish private prisons; Climate Wednesday, with an executive order reinstating regulations that recreate the president’s science and technology and climate change advisers; Health Care Thursday, the day Mr. Biden will repeal the so-called Mexico City Policy, which blocks federal funding for nongovernmental organizations that provide abortion services; and immigration Friday, when Biden plans to sign executive orders targeting border processing and refugee policy, as well as establishing a working group on family reunification.
The month of February will be dedicated to what the calendar identifies as restoring America’s place in the world.
Here’s a rundown of the 17 steps Biden took on his first day in office:
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