Hello Biden! The First 100 Days

Lucia Chico, Staff Writer

As the Trump era ends and a new administration is desperately ushered in, the American people are beginning to see kept promises and consistency in leaders’ messages. A theme in President Joe Biden’s speeches and overall campaign has been unity. Along with his frequently reiterated goal of creating unity between all Americans in order to overcome the current challenges, Biden has repeated four key phrases: fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, recovering the economy, fighting both racial injustice and climate change. The president has already set his priorities straight; in his transparent and detailed plans for his first 100 days in office, Biden has immediately begun to enact necessary change and repair the damage done by the Trump administration.

As Vice-President Kamala Harris said, “[we’ll] hit the ground running,” and running they did. On the same day that the president was sworn in, he got straight to work, signing 17 executive orders, more than any other president on the first day as commander-in-chief. A handful of these orders were directed towards pandemic relief. This included appointing a COVID-19 response coordinator that will report solely to the president, a mask mandate for all federal employees on federal property and rejoining the World Health Administration, all stark contrasts from Trump era executive orders. In the process of getting passed in Congress is the administration’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that aims to extend unemployment benefits and send out stimulus checks of $1400. Intertwined in this bill are funds that will be allocated to schools so that they have the resources to reopen safely as well as funds to support small businesses that are having trouble staying afloat.

Compared to the recent $600 stimulus check that Congress recently passed, the $1400 proposal that Biden is pushing for is directed at the low-income POC communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, as well as all the Americans who are simply struggling to make ends meet. On the note of racial justice, Biden has reversed the 1776 Commission, a policy that the Trump administration issued that inevitably whitewashes American history. Other policies that have been rolled out set up what will be the lengthy task of uprooting systemic racism in federal agencies. Lastly, Biden undid Trump’s Islamophobic Muslim travel ban and plans to find ways to assist those who were negatively affected by the legislation.

“This year’s inauguration was more than just swearing in a new president and vice president, it marked the beginning of a new United States that will be filled with empathy and inclusivity,” junior Joaquin Breslin said.

Offering a lifeline, he has signed an executive order to prolong evictions and foreclosures until the end of March. This is meant to help Americans who are unable to make their monthly payments stay in their homes. The original order signed by President Trump was meant to last through Jan. 31. The aforementioned $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that Biden proposed prior to getting sworn in, asks that Congress not only increase unemployment benefits, but also prolong evictions until September. On top of this, he has also signed an order that asks the Department of Education to extend the current pause on federal student loan payments. The Department of Education has now extended federal student loan payments until Sept. 2021.

It is my strongest belief that President Joe Biden will restore the moral compass and sense of unity this country has been drained of for the last 4 years,

— sophomore Marina Devine

Staying true to his word, Biden signed a letter to the United Nations to formally re-enter the United States in the Paris Climate Accord —a coalition of countries that work together to tackle climate change — which President Trump had formally withdrawn the US from. President Biden also signed an order that would begin to undo a plethora of anti-climate conscious policies that the Trump administration set in place.

Aside from the everything done on the first day, in Biden’s first 100 days, he and his administration are aiming to reach 100 million vaccinated Americans. It comes as no surprise that the Biden administration has to create a vaccination plan from scratch, given that Trump had simply left that responsibility up to individual states. It is worth noting that Biden is determined to create effective federal plans that tackle the pandemic, the economy, racial justice and the climate crisis; he will not be taking the easy way out and just leaving it up to the state level governments.

The restoration of the moral compass—that is what is truly necessary right now. By studying what President Biden has done on his very first day in office, it is clear what this country needs in order to “build back better.” The toxic Trump term policies that so gravely injured our nation, must become undone. It will be a hectic 100 days but, at least now, the American people will begin to see positive headlines about the White House.