A new era for the United States of America has officially begun, as Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States Jan. 20. This ground-breaking day made Biden the oldest president in history at 77-years-old, while Vice President Kamala Harris became the first Black and Asian-American woman to be elected to the position. The Biden administration pledged to make many changes in the first 100 days; here’s what they have done so far.
The Biden Administration continued the modern trend of presidents passing a myriad of executive orders within the first hours of presidency.
In regards to COVID-19, Biden began reengaging with the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as enforcing a federal mask and social distancing mandate on government property. He also ordered for increased and faster testing, accelerated manufacturing of vaccines and more accurate and up-to-date data. Travel bans to and from areas of Europe, Brazil and South America have been put in place as well to further combat the spread of the virus.
For climate change, Biden has reentered the United States into the Paris Climate Agreement, committing the U.S. to fighting climate change and negating one of Donald Trump’s most controversial presidential actions. Biden also revoked the Keystone XL Pipeline which has been heavily contested by environmentalists and Native American groups for years.
On immigration, Biden has stopped funding to the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border as well as ending the travel ban on certain majority-Muslim countries. He has also lightened up on immigration enforcement and has allowed non-citizens to be included on the U.S. census. This also includes taking a strong stance against separating families at the border. Eight of the ten immigration-related orders are direct reversals of Trump immigration policy.
The Biden administration has also taken a strong stance against racial and gender discrimination. He has urged and directed workplaces to review policy on workplace discrimination, including those against race, sexual orientation and gender. This includes allowing transgenders into the military, reversing one of the most restrictive policies of Trump’s presidency.
One of the most controversial orders passed was one that allows transgender female athletes to compete against other females in women’s sports. While this has been celebrated by LGBTQ+ advocates, it has received backlash from many conservatives who fear that this will have a negative impact on the competitiveness of these sports at all levels.
“On day 1, Biden unilaterally eviscerates women’s sports. Any educational institution that receives federal funding must admit biologically-male athletes to women’s teams, women’s scholarships, etc. A new glass ceiling was just placed over girls,” said author Abigail Shrier.
Biden labels these executive actions as “eliminating bad policy”, saying “What I’m doing is taking on the issues that — 99% of them — that the president, the last president of the United States [Donald Trump], issued executive orders I felt were very counterproductive to our security, counterproductive to who we are as a country, particularly in the area of immigration.”
It remains to be seen how effective any of these executive actions will be for the U.S., but Biden has made it clear that he is not afraid to make changes to fit his vision for the nation.