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President Biden Signs Series of Executive Orders on First Day in Office

President Biden Signs Series of Executive Orders on First Day in Office

President Joe Biden approved a series of executive orders Wednesday on Inauguration Day, reversing or dismissing many of President Donald Trump’s initiatives.

Biden signed 17 executive orders, proclamations and memorandums at the Oval Office on Wednesday. With the changes comes an end to a travel ban on predominantly Muslim and African countries and a decision to rejoin the Paris climate accord, the agreement to limit global warming and avoid dangerous climate change.

“We’ll press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities,” Biden said during his Inaugural Address at the Capitol. “Much to repair. Much to restore. Much to heal. Much to build, and much to gain.”

The orders on Wednesday fell into four categories of what Biden’s team calls “converging crises.” Those categories are the pandemic, economic struggles, immigration and diversity issues, and the environment and climate change.

“A new day,” Jeff Zients, the coordinator of Biden’s coronavirus response, said. “A new, different approach to managing the country’s response to the COIVD-19 crisis.”

Biden’s order on the pandemic also restored the directorate for global health security and biodefense at the National Security Council and approved working with WHO to send Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease specialist, to an executive board meeting this week.

Finally, the order imposes a nationwide mandate requiring masks and physical distancing in all federal buildings and land.

Biden also signed an order that supported the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that Trump had previously tried to end. He also suspended construction at the border wall.

For environmental issues, Biden set a moratorium on oil and natural gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

“President-elect Biden will continue to take action over the next 10 days — and over his entire time in office — to address the four crises that he’s laid out,” said Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla/Staff

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.