Joe Biden and Kamala Harris both took the sacred oaths to become the 46th president and vice president, respectively, of the United States on Jan. 20, altering the trajectory of American politics for the next four years.
In the months leading up to inauguration day, Biden had unveiled significant portions of his plans for his first 100 days in the Oval Office. His desire to enact change was exemplified a few hours after being sworn in when Biden made history by signing a record 17 executive actions in an effort to tackle issues such as COVID-19, immigration and global warming.
“There is no time to waste when it comes to tackling the crises we face,” Biden tweeted while on his way to the White House after inauguration.
Most notably, Biden is seeking Congressional approval for his American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion proposal to revive the economy and get 100 million Americans vaccinated during the first 100 days of his presidency.
“If we can get the majority of the population vaccinated, we’d be in very good shape and could beat even the mutant,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said on NBC. “The issue of getting 100 million doses in the first 100 days is absolutely a doable thing.”
Juxtaposing former president Donald Trump’s more relaxed measures to curtail the spread of the virus, the Biden administration will enforce a mandate to wear masks and social distance around federal property. Biden is also planning to create the governmental position of COVID-19 Response Coordinator, who will relay information to the president and initiate the 100 Days Masking Challenge, urging Americans to wear masks for a prolonged period of time.
With 15 of Biden’s new federal directives as executive orders, many of the actions passed by his administration so far ultimately serve to counteract Trump’s policies from the past four years. In his first day in office, Biden signed America back into the Paris Agreement, sent an immigration bill to Congress detailing a citizenship path for DACA recipients and lifted the discriminatory bans that were directed at predominately Muslim countries.
In the midst of Biden’s new policies, new members of his cabinet have been slowly confirmed. Although only time will tell the impact of his staff, Biden undoubtedly has the most diverse cabinet in the history of the U.S. presidency. It is the first time that the nation sees a Latino chief of homeland security, an openly gay cabinet member and a female national intelligence director.
“Building a diverse team will lead to better outcomes and more effective solutions to address the urgent crises facing our nation,” Biden said in a speech in December regarding his cabinet nominations.
Regardless of personal opinions on Biden’s policies, there is a long and arduous path in front his first 100 days and beyond as Biden attempts to guide the nation to unity.
“Will we master this rare and difficult hour? Will we meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world for our children?” Biden said in his inaugural address. “I believe we must and I believe we will. And when we do, we will write the next chapter in the American story.”