On Jan. 20, 2021, history was made as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election for 46th president and vice president of the United States. While the two celebrated after their long run, that didn’t stop them from immediately acting on what their platform promised. Biden signed 15 executive orders in the first 24 hours of being in office. According to a graph provided by the American Presidency Project, Obama signed a total of nine and Trump signed a total of eight after their first two weeks in office. Biden promised to be proactive and he’s delivering, both quickly and efficiently.
First and foremost, Biden began removing as many of Trump’s policies as he could, including topics such as climate change, COVID-19 and immigration, all just in his first day. After countless Americans fell ill to COVID-19, things only seemed to get worse as the Trump administration made the move to leave the World Health Organization (WHO). With Biden now holding the reins, his first move was to effectively fight back against the virus that has killed nearly 400,000 American citizens. Mandatory mask wearing will now be required on federal land, along with stronger enforcement of social distancing. The United States will rejoin WHO in order to work with other countries to solve this pandemic, trusting in cooperation as the true way to return the world to a state of normalcy. Along with that, Biden created a new position in the White House specifically for addressing the virus.
Aside from a proper COVID-19 response, Biden also signed off on the United States rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, which is essentially an agreement between major countries to work together in decreasing their pollutive emissions. By having this agreement between multiple countries, it encourages world leaders to civilly hold each other accountable in creating a better, cleaner world. Along with the Paris Climate Agreement, Biden is also halting construction of the Keystone Pipeline, which would’ve run straight through land that is home to many endangered species. This pipeline would have also come with the cost of destroying natural land. After less than twenty-four hours, Biden placed climate change as being a national security concern, his actions showing that the next four years can promise a real effort in finding the cleanest solutions.
During the past four years of Trump’s presidency, one of the most polarizing topics that seemed to grow before finally erupting during the summer of 2020 is racism and inequality. The Trump Administration’s actions against immigration, the proposed border wall and their response to protests against police brutality only created a more volatile environment. While there isn’t an executive order that will completely erase the years and years of racism and inequality behavior that has been running rampant in this country, Biden is going to at least try. Not only is he ordering federal agencies to investigate racially unequal policies, Biden will also reevaluate housing discrimination, especially in light of COVID-19 and its resulting loss of jobs and the ability to pay rent. Unlike the Trump Administration who also promoted deportation for all illegal immigrants, Biden is shifting deportation efforts to only going after those who have committed crimes in the United States.
Biden said “Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love.” Biden isn’t just holding this view in regard to immigration and equality, but is clearly trying to focus on showing everyone who calls the United States home the respect and dignity all human beings deserve. He isn’t a perfect person, and like every president before, he will make mistakes. However, Biden is showing a clear effort to put the people first, and that alone will guarantee great things in the future for America.