Today, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States—alongside the first Black and Indian American Vice President in US history, Kamala Harris.
What happens then?
Step 1: Honor the more than 400,000 Americans lost to COVID-19 and the average of 3,300+ dying each day, Vox reports. Biden and Harris joined a moving tribute that included 400 lights around the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool—“the most prominent effort so far to remember those who have died,” NPR reports.
Step 2: Within hours of taking office, Biden will make a flurry of key decisions and sign over a dozen executive orders, The Washington Post reports, including:
- Halting President Trump’s withdrawal from the WHO. Anthony Fauci is scheduled to deliver remarks to the WHO on Thursday, The Hill reports.
- Requiring masks on federal property and launching a “100 Days Masking Challenge.” (He can’t order a nationwide mask mandate.)
- Naming businessman Jeff “Mr. Fix It” Zients as COVID czar, managing vaccine, testing, and PPE distribution.
- Restoring the global health security and biodefense team disbanded by Trump in 2018
- Rejoining the Paris climate accord, which Trump backed out of. (That, according to Greenpeace urges, per Reuters, is a bare minimum that must be followed up with grander ambitions.)
- Stopping construction on the Southern border wall.
Coming Soon: Nixing the Mexico City Policy—a “partisan pendulum” for decades—that strips funding from international nonprofits that offer abortion services, the Post reports.
The administration has also signaled it will join COVAX, the global initiative to ensure equitable global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. President Trump opted out.
This Morning: Trump boarded Marine One at 8:14 a.m. after departing the White House for the last time.