By A. Melcon
Mainly, President Biden is aiming to focus on the imminent situation of the ongoing pandemic and environmental protections. Since the 20th of January of 2021, the day Biden went into office, he has signed more executive orders than other presidents such as Obama or Trump did in their first month. He is working on overturning many policies that Trump put in place.
Firstly, Biden has decided to focus on the coronavirus, a situation he sees as extremely important as it has ended more than 400,000 lives in the US. He is working on dismantling Trump’s previous policies, which had mostly ignored COVID and not taken any substantial measures, merely setting a mandate to wear masks and ensuring the practice of social distancing on federal government property. In particular, new measures include that masks are to be worn in every form of public transportation and a lot of money and resources have been allocated to COVID research as well as support for long-term facilities hit the hardest by the coronavirus. Also, a new office has been made to focus on the pandemic and the US is planning on returning to the World Health Organisation (WHO). A new position of Covid-19 response coordinator has been created to oversee vaccines and tests over the country. Biden is also planning on safely conducting in-school learning in addition to offering guidance for online school, ensuring no discrimination for students with health issues and therefore promoting health and safety for workers.
Biden is also planning to fight against climate change, beginning the process of rejoining the 2015 Paris climate agreement, which former president Trump withdrew from in 2017. He has also revoked the permission Trump granted to construct the Keystone XL pipeline, which many considered harmful to the environment, as it was a 1,200-mile pipeline which would cut through indigenous lands to carry crude oil from Canada to the US.
In addition, Biden also plans to remove many controversial Trump administration policies, such as for example the transgender military ban. On his first day in office, Biden ordered resources be allocated “advance[e] equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalised and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.” He also signed an executive order which banned the discrimination of gender identity or sexual orientation.
On immigration, Mr. Biden has revoked Trump administrations' emergency declaration that helped fund the building of a wall along the Mexican border, which is currently being tried at the supreme court for the allegedly improper use of funds. Also, Trump had a policy which banned entry of the US to refugees and people from 7 Muslim countries, which Biden also reversed, again on his first day back. Biden is also tearing apart the trump policy, which was very hard on undocumented immigrants, resulting in their constant deportation. He also blocked the deportation of Liberian refugees and undocumented immigrant children living in the US.
Furthermore, Biden is providing help to students, pausing federal student loan payments, as he recognises that there are many American citizens struggling to pay for basic needs. He is also extending the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs Benefit, increasing advantages under the Pandemic Electronic Benefits transfer, which gives struggling students money for food. He has also begun to assist veterans with debt and requested unemployment insurance for workers who haven’t been able to work in order to protect their health.