Biden’s Busy First Week As President

Out with the old, in with the new. A new administration has taken power in the White House and they’re not wasting any time.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris were inaugurated on Jan. 20 following a violent riot at the Capitol after the former President incited insurrection and mass panic amongst his devoted followers. 

Washington, D.C. was under strict watch, with the U.S. National Guard being deployed to ensure no foul play came about on the day of the inauguration. The atmosphere appeared tense, however, the inauguration went smoothly and a new administration settled into the White House. 

Even before Biden’s first day, America saw new priorities begin to take precedent. 

Secretary Mike Pompeo made the U.S. the first country to declare China’s Uighur treatment “genocide,” just around 24 hours before the Biden administration took office. 

Biden’s inaugural speech alone spoke volumes on his administration’s goals and future steps. Making mention of fighting white supremacy, Biden’s speech is the first presidential inauguration speech to address this form of racism in America. 

The Biden/Harris administration has made leaps and bounds forward in their first week alone regarding both international relations and domestic matters. On his first day, Biden signed executive orders rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and has said he will end the former President’s ban on transgender people in the U.S. military.

Also in his first day, Biden rejoined the United States in the World Health Organization (WHO), signed orders to stop the border wall, end the discriminatory Muslim travel ban, and signed an executive mask mandate

Biden also halted student loan payments until September, and signed orders to ensure hospitals can no longer refuse service based on sexual orientation or gender.

The official White House contact form now allows users to specify their pronouns for the first time in history. 

Press Secretary Jen Psaki took reporters’ questions at a press briefing on Jan. 21, sparking stark comparisons to briefings from the former presidential administration. 

Chief Medical Advisor to the President, Dr. Anthony Fauci, was seen smiling and laughing during the briefing–a first for him in months. Fauci says he now feels “liberated” to speak freely about science when asked about his thoughts on the new administration. 

On Jan. 22, Biden had his first discussion with another world leader as President. Biden talked to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, discussing future Canadian American relations, such as the Keystone Pipeline.

Biden and Harris have made big promises, which the nation will certainly hold them accountable to. The Biden administration has already diverged drastically from the former administration in environmental policy, domestic matters and COVID-19 restrictions. 

In the coming months, all eyes will be on the Biden administration to see how they address an array of pressing issues, such as COVID-19 relief, environmental action, and racial equality, among many others.