World

Biden rejoins Paris climate deal and WHO, revokes Muslim travel ban on first day

January 21, 2021
New US President Joe Biden signed 17 executive moves just hours after his inauguration on Wednesday, moving faster and more aggressively to dismantle his predecessor's legacy than any other modern president. — Courtesy photo
New US President Joe Biden signed 17 executive moves just hours after his inauguration on Wednesday, moving faster and more aggressively to dismantle his predecessor's legacy than any other modern president. — Courtesy photo

WASHINGTON — New US President Joe Biden signed 17 executive moves just hours after his inauguration on Wednesday, moving faster and more aggressively to dismantle his predecessor's legacy than any other modern president.

Biden issued a flurry of executive orders, memorandums, and directives to agencies, his first steps to address the coronavirus pandemic and undo some of former President Donald Trump's signature policies.

"There's no time to start like today," Biden told reporters in the Oval Office as he began signing a stack of orders and memoranda. "I'm going to start by keeping the promises I made to the American people."

With the stroke of a pen, Biden has halted funding for the construction of Trump's border wall, reversed his travel ban targeting largely Muslim countries, and embraced progressive policies on the environment and diversity that Trump spent four years blocking.

Biden also reversed several of Trump's attempts to withdraw from international agreements, beginning the process of rejoining the Paris climate accord and halting the United States' departure from the World Health Organization — where Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, will lead the US delegation.

His first action was to impose a mask mandate on federal property, a break in approach to dealing with the pandemic from Trump, who repeatedly downplayed the virus. Biden also installed a coronavirus response coordinator to oversee the White House's efforts to distribute vaccines and medical supplies.

Press secretary Jen Psaki and other top Biden officials had told reporters on the eve of his inauguration that the first-day actions are only part of what will be a series of moves to undo Trump policies and implement Biden's campaign promises in his first weeks in office. — Courtesy CNN


January 21, 2021
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