WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden didn’t waste any time during his first day in office Wednesday. After a morning of century-old rituals, the new president immediately got to work, signing three executive orders in front of reporters in the Oval Office.
The orders tackled the COVID-19 pandemic, racial equity and climate change.
They include a mask mandate on federal property, a 100-day mask challenge, rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and calling for support for underserved communities.
He also released several other orders on his first day, many reversing Trump administration policies. President Biden put an end to the travel ban for some Muslim countries and killed the permit for the Keystone Pipeline.
"I think some of the things that we're going to be doing are bold, and there's no time to start like today,” Biden said while signing the orders.
Biden’s press team also didn’t waste time. They held their first briefing just hours later—an unprecedented move compared to previous administrations.
“Rebuilding trust with the American people will be central to our focus in the press office and in the White House,” said Jen Psaki, the White House’s new press secretary.
Psaki said a big focus during the first 100 days will be the pandemic. Biden announced a nearly $2 trillion relief package before taking office, with a goal to vaccinate 100 million Americans in his first 100 days.
“The issue he wakes up every day focused on is getting the pandemic under control. The issue he goes to bed every night focused on is getting the pandemic under control,” Psaki said.
Now in office, Biden faces the true test of government: Can he turn his promises into reality?