Within a few hours of his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, hit the ground running with the signing of about 17 executive orders, nine of which reversed the actions by his predecessor in office, Donald Trump on a number critical issues ranging from the coronavirus pandemic to climate change and immigration.
The Executive order were to enable him keep his promises while on the campaign trail in the run up to the elections last November.
The President’s first executive gave official seal to the directive requiring the use of nose masks and observing social distancing in all federal buildings, on federal lands and by federal employees and contractors.
Masking up and social distancing, which have been proven as some of the ways to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus were not taken seriously under the Trump administration.
But, these would become official code of public behaviour within the first 100 days of Mr Biden’s administration.
Also, Mr Biden immediately reversed the decision by Mr Trump to withdraw the U.S. membership of the World Health Organization.
On Climate change accord, Mr Biden signed an executive order for the U.S. to commence the process to rejoin the Paris climate accord, which his predecessor ordered the country’s withdrawal as a signatory to global pacts on climate change and fossil fuel emissions.
On immigration, Mr Biden directed a stop on Muslims’ travel ban imposed on January 2017 barring citizens from seven Muslim countries from entering America.
Mr Biden also ordered the immediate stopping of the national emergency imposed by the Trump administration on the U.S. border in February 2018 to divert huge resources from the Defense Department for the construction of the wall with Mexico.
One of newly signed order halted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme, to stop several thousands of young children from being deported.
Besides, Mr Biden also canceled the declaration by the Trump administration making about 11 million people in the country illegally candidates for instant deportation.
Mr Biden also reversed the Trump administration’s decision to exclude people residing in the country illegally from being counted in the 2020 population census exercise.
Mr Biden has also proposed the restoration of the green cards to pave the way for people to get the U.S. citizenship by January 1, 2021.
0n student debts debt, Mr Biden demanded the Education Department to extend a stop on federal student loan payments.
On housing, Mr Biden extended the housing foreclosures and evictions by about three months till the end of March 31, 2021 to give those affected some time to recover from the impact of the coronavirus on their rents and mortgages.
The signing of the executive orders was preceded by his formal inauguration earlier in the day along with his deputy, Kamala Harris.
While taking the oath of office, Mr Biden in his maiden inaugural address urged Americans to embrace unity and eschew divisive tendencies among them.