In his first two weeks in office, President Joe Biden has signed multiple executive orders to undo some of President Donald Trump’s actions and made plans to address current issues in our country.
Trump halted President Barack Obama’s plan to have Harriet Tubman, a famous anti-slavery activist who helped several African Americans escape slavery, as the new face the $20 bill. She would be replacing Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, a known slave owner and initiator of the Trail of Tears that took thousands of Native American lives. Recently, the Biden administration has begun working on accelerating the process of releasing the new $20 bill with Tubman’s face on it.
“I support putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. I think it’s one symbolic way to recognize African American leaders. I also think it is the collection of many thoughtful changes and progressions that will create meaningful change; this is perhaps one of those many changes,” said English teacher Michelle Lew.
As climate change continues to raise global concerns and countries scrambled to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. In one of his first actions as president, Biden signed an order that would readmit the U.S. to the accord. This is crucial because the U.S. has a large carbon footprint, second to only China, and is one of the largest contributors to climate change worldwide.
“It’s good that our president is aware of how severe of a problem global warming is because our rate of greenhouse gas emissions is unsustainable and induces negative impacts on the environment,” said junior Colin Sutedja.
Biden has also signed an executive order to halt the construction of Trump’s infamous wall on the southern border between the U.S. and Mexico. Although this order will not affect or destroy the already completed sections of the border wall, Biden plans to redirect funds to the wall construction towards other causes and programs.
Over the past year, the U.S. has struggled to face the COVID-19 pandemic, but Biden has brought forth plans to improve the situation. In the early months of the pandemic, Trump removed the U.S. from the World Health Organization (WHO). On his first day as president, Biden rejoined the WHO to assist in efforts to battle the pandemic and global health issues.
In addition to restoring ties with the WHO to face COVID-19, Biden released his plans surrounding stimulus checks and vaccines. He pledged to vaccinate 100 million Americans in his first 100 days of office, which leaves the deadline at April 29. So far, around 33 million Americans, eight percent of the population, have received their first dose of vaccinations. In order to reach his goal, around one million Americans have to be vaccinated every day– a rate not far off from that of the current situation.
Biden has worked with Congress to pass a plan for a third round of stimulus checks. The latest proposal includes sending a $1,400 payments to individuals with an income of $50,000 or less and a $2,800 payment to married couples with an income of $100,000 or less. This plan is still subject to change as Republicans and Democrats of Congress continue to dispute who will receive the stimulus payments.