Joe Biden’s First Actions as President

Within a few hours of his Inauguration as the President of the United States (POTUS), Joe Biden signed several executive orders, overturning many of the Trump Administration’s decisions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and so on. Some of Biden’s first executive orders were:

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Mandatory mask-wearing on federal property

Biden mandated mask-wearing and physical distancing on federal lands, in federal buildings, and by federal contractors, employees, and the public.

Rejoining the Paris Agreement

Biden fulfilled one of his top campaign promises of making the US a part of the Paris Agreement on climate change again. Trump had withdrawn from this international pact in 2017, citing added costs to American taxpayers. By re-signing the Paris Agreement, the US pledges to curb fossil fuel emissions that cause global warming.

Rejoining the World Health Organization

Biden reversed a key decision by the Trump Administration by ordering the US government to rejoin the World Health Organization. Trump had withdrawn from the international organization in 2020 after accusing it of being incompetent and controlled by China.

Ending the ban on entry of individuals from Muslim-majority countries into the US

Biden ordered that Trump’s policy banning refugees and residents from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US be scrapped. 

Pausing federal student loan payments

Biden requested that the freeze on federal student loan payments be extended because “[t]oo many Americans are struggling to pay for basic necessities and to provide for their families.”

Termination of funding and construction of border wall

Biden ordered that the wall construction at the US southern border must be halted immediately, and funding for the same must be redirected after reviewing contracts.

Mandatory ethics pledge for government appointees

Biden’s proclamation requires all government appointees to sign an ethics pledge that prohibits them from accepting gifts from registered lobbyists and lobbying for a minimum of two years after leaving the government.

Joe Biden also issued a memorandum seeking the strengthening of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and orders promoting racial equity and banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.