Shortly after being sworn in on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden signed 15 executive orders, changing the policies executed by Republican President Donald Trump and also taking drastic action against coronavirus pandemic and climate change.
Passing numerous policies on Wednesday afternoon in front of reporters in the Oval Office, Biden insisted there was “no time to waste” in delivering executive orders, memos, and guidelines.
“Some of the executive actions I’m going to sign today would help change the COVID crisis, we’re going to tackle climate change in a way we haven’t done so far, advance racial equality, and support other underserved groups”, Biden said. “These are all starting points only.”
Advisers said the measures signed by the Democratic president included a federal property and federal employees mask mandate, an order to set up a new White House office to organize the coronavirus response and to avoid the withdrawal process from the World Health Organization.
A document to begin the process of re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement was signed by Biden and an extensive order was released to tackle climate change, including the revocation of the presidential permit given to the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Biden reversed the emergency declaration by Trump, which helped finance the building of a border wall and ended a travel ban on some majority Muslim countries, among a raft of orders covering immigration.
His press secretary, Jen Psaki, said the Day One plan was just the beginning of a spell of executive measures Biden would take shortly after taking office.
“We will announce additional executive actions in the coming days and weeks that confront these challenges and deliver on the President-promises elect’s to the American people,” Psaki said.
Other actions would include revoking the ban on transgender Americans’ military service and repealing a policy that restricts US support for abortion-related services overseas.
On the economic front, Biden requested the US Disease Control and Prevention Centers to extend the eviction moratorium until the end of March and the Department of Education to suspend payments for student loans until the end of September.