The Biden Era Begins
The U.S. Presidential Inauguration occurs every 4 years on January 20th and involves many events, including the official swearing-in of the President and Vice President as well as the Inaugural Address. President Biden was recently inaugurated, which formally began the Biden Era. This inauguration was unlike others in many ways; for example, it is the first time in over 150 years that a sitting president did not attend their successor’s Inauguration, and people wore masks due to the ongoing pandemic. There were also special appearances by musicians who sang in support of the new president and Amanda Gorman, who delivered an inspiring poem that she wrote after the riot on Capitol Hill earlier this month.
President Biden’s inaugural address was a key part of the day. The speech covered many topics, including his goals for his presidency. The main theme of the speech was unity, coming together to overcome the challenges we face as a nation. He mentioned that to some, it may seem like a “foolish fantasy,” but “unity is the path forward”; no more red versus blue, we must all step up and “I will be a President for all Americans.” He spoke about the challenges we face, including the pandemic and racial injustice, as well as how we will overcome these challenges. The pandemic has hurt us all; some have lost their jobs, businesses, or even their lives, but we will fight these challenges together. There were also many underlying themes such as defending democracy and truth, America’s story and our legacy, and America's role in the world. He stated that “We will lead not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example.”
What are President Biden’s initial priorities?
President Biden has signed numerous executive orders in his first few days, many of which support themes such as equality and an effective Covid-19 response. On his first day in office, he signed several executive orders that will result in the United States rejoining the Paris climate agreement, ending the Muslim ban, requiring masks on federal property, changing immigration enforcement, including undocumented immigrants in the census, banning discrimination for gender or sexual orientation, stopping the border wall, and pausing student loan payments. Day two was much more focused on Covid-19, and it included orders supporting in-person learning at schools, expanding access to Covid-19 treatments, mandating masks on public transportation, creating the Covid-19 Health Equity Task Force, as well as many others to help slow this pandemic.
In the following days, he signed more executive orders that repeal the transgender military ban, promote companies to “Buy American”, stop private prisons, denounce anti-Asian discrimination, reinstate Covid-19 travel restrictions, create a plan to stop climate change, help Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, and expand access to reproductive health.
Overall, our new president has started on a path to accomplish many of his promises, and the future appears much more hopeful. Over the coming weeks and months we will learn more about the successes and failures of the Biden Era, and if President Biden can help unify our great country and lead the United States and the world into a new phase of prosperity for all.