On his first day as US President, Joe Biden does not hesitate: with a record number of initiatives, he is winding up Donald Trump’s legacy. An important advisor announces new plans with Europe at t-online.
What Joe Biden did in the first few hours as US President can be summed up: He wanted to create the greatest possible contrast to his predecessor, Donald Trump.
It began with his rhetoric at the inauguration, which appealed to unity and decency. It also resulted in a ritual that Trump abolished, the daily press conference at the White House, being revived as early as Wednesday evening.
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There was actually a lot to announce: In the first few hours, Biden handled numerous Trump decisions. Biden signed 17 decrees – more than any president before him. Among other things, he initiated the return to the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Health Organization. He lifted the entry ban for people from majority Muslim countries and made masking compulsory in federal buildings, while Trump had ridiculed wearing masks.
“Respect other nations”
But that’s just the beginning. Biden’s team leaves no doubt what the new president will focus on: unlike Trump, he wants to fight the corona crisis with full force and make up for what he sees as damage caused by Trump as quickly as possible. The priority is to repair the badly battered relationship with America’s allies.
Can all of this be achieved at the same time? Already the reconciliation of US society, which has been further divided after four years of Trump, is a mammoth task.
One of Biden’s most important advisors emphasizes that the balancing act is possible. John Kerry, Biden’s Special Envoy on Climate Change at the White House, told t-online on the sidelines of the inauguration that Biden’s inauguration marks “America’s return to its obligations in the world. That includes respecting and working with other nations, including while we are ours own nation have to heal after a difficult time. “
Praise for Germany
While Biden initially initiated the return to the Paris Agreement, which could be completed in 30 days, Kerry announced further rapid climate initiatives to t-online. “Climate is the big challenge for all of us and we will very soon have direct talks with the leaders of Europe,” said Kerry, who served as US Secretary of State under President Barack Obama. “First and foremost, our own country must do more,” Kerry told t-online, “but the whole world must also step up its efforts.”
Kerry praised Germany as “the most important ally” and Chancellor Angela Merkel as an “excellent partner”.
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It’s an ambitious agenda that Kerry and Biden have set themselves. Donald Trump had not only withdrawn the US from the Paris Treaty, but also cut dozen of climate and environmental rules and promoted fossil fuels such as oil and gas. Trump programs halted on Wednesday included the withdrawal of a permit to build a controversial oil pipeline to Canada.
100 million vaccinations in 100 days
For each day in January, Biden plans a key topic to make corrections to. On Thursday this is the Corona topic. Here Biden is planning large aid programs with one-off payments of helicopter money as well as a national vaccination strategy with which he wants to administer 100 million vaccine doses in the first 100 days. So far, the administration of the vaccine has been extremely slow in most states.
Biden’s Democrats have had a slim majority in both houses of Congress since Wednesday – that gives the new president great opportunities. When it comes to the number one crisis, he still relies on votes from the Republicans, in line with non-partisan cooperation.
But when it comes to handling the Trump legacy, Biden made it clear in his first few hours that speed is more important to him than unity.