Written by: Zoe Zahorák
My name is Zoe Zahorák and I’m fascinated by American politics. I followed the 2020 election with constant curiosity, and although, during the Democratic primaries, Biden was not the one I was supporting, when he first came face to face with Trump I realized all of his potential. I had and still have high hopes for Biden as president, firstly because of his experience and secondly his character. I believe that the hardships he endured (losing his first wife, and two of his children) make him even more sensitive, and empathetic and that it also brings him closer to everyday people.
I must say that after the beautiful and historic inauguration I was very much looking forward to seeing what Biden’s first executive orders will be. In America the first hundred days of a presidency have a large amount of significance.
I must say Biden has impressed me. When it comes to social issues in America, Biden has always been a bit too moderate, in my opinion, but the way he has faced this pandemic -to me- is head on and brave. Without doubt Biden became president at an unprecedented time, with challenges most presidents have never faced. But so far he has not seemed to shy away from battling these challenges.
Let’s first start by talking about his first week as president. Biden started by making quite a few changes in the Oval Office. First of all, he hung a portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt over the fireplace. During these times Roosevelt definetely seems to be the right role model or inspiration for a president. Roosevelt instigated the New Deal relief recovery during the Great Depression. And a painting of Andrew Jackson was taken off the wall. Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act in 1830. Biden also added busts of the civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks.
Now let’s talk about Biden’s first executive actions as president. First of all he halted the funding for Trump’s border wall. He also reversed Trump’s travel ban that was mostly aimed at Muslim countries. Other than this, in his first week he also imposed a mask mandate on federal property, and ramped up vaccination supplies. He required international travellers to provide a negative COVID-19 test prior to travelling to the U.S.
Also another executive order Biden made in his first week allowed transgender people to serve in the military. The order stated that:
‘America is stronger, at home and around the world, when it is inclusive. The military is no exception’– Joe Biden
During his campaign Biden faced criticism for not supporting the Green New Deal but luckily he believed and still believes that climate change is the most serious and alarming issue facing our world. Biden signed a series of executive orders to combat climate change in his first week. His orders that he made to combat climate change and focus on environmental justice view climate change as a national security concern. On his first day in office Biden also had the United States rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.
Biden’s official Instagram page also shared that the president is taking action to promote fair housing policies, end private prisons, strengthen the nation -to- nation relationship with Native American tribes and Alaskan natives, and combat xenophobia against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
One of the most important and historic decisions of the Biden administration was signing the American Rescue Plan Act. This is a 1.9 trillion dollar COVID-19 relief bill that aims to boost vaccination efforts, assist in reopening schools, expand access to health care, and address food and and housing insecurities that were brought on by the virus. Many people feel that this rescue plan aiming to cut poverty is a big win for America. This plan includes emergency aid to cover back rent, help struggling homeowners, avoid the risk of homelessness, provide additional funding for families and individuals, as well as provide immediate help by delivering 1,400 dollar direct checks.
What is also important to mention is that when President Biden took office he promised to administer 100 million shots in his first 100 days. But it has just been announced that the goal of reaching 100 million shots was reached in 58 days.
Biden also gave a very sad but incredibly powerful speech when the United States hit 500,000 Covid deaths. The sentence from this speech that I think everyone should remember was:
‘We have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow’.– Joe Biden
As with any politician or public figure, Biden has also faced controversy. Many were outraged and claimed that he made a decision that transgender female athletes must be allowed to compete against women. The truth is that the order extends protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. The federal law prohibits discrimination in federally funded schools. The executive order reads: ‘Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports’.
Biden also faced backlash from the Left when it was announced that the White House asked members of their staff to resign for past marijuana use. Several Democrats criticized this decision.
Despite these, and a few other controversies, Biden’s decisions have mostly been approved by fellow Democrats.
I’m looking forward to seeing what else Biden will do. What I hope is that he listens closely to his progressive colleagues and works towards an America with less and eventually no hate. I also hope that he will continue to battle climate change and also fix America’s broken relationships.
No doubt he has a lot to do, in a time where many are losing hope. And let’s hope he will handle these challenges with strength and compassion.
Meet the Author:
Hi! My name’s Zoe Zahorák, I’m 19 Hungarian political science student.
I’m interested in politics and different social and economic issues for example child poverty.
My Instagram page @speakupbyzoe is dedicated to inspire generation Z to speak up on different issues. I also have a blog and I have one introduction essay so for but have lots of ideas that I want to write about!