After entering the White House, Mr. Biden signed a series of decrees, including reintegrating the United States into the Paris climate accord and mandatory wearing of masks in federal facilities.
President Joe Biden signed 17 decrees in the Oval Office a few hours after he took office on January 20.
Wearing a mask, Mr. Biden signed the first three decrees showing the new administration’s priorities. One ordinance was to force the United States to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, one to ensure racial equality, and the other to rejoin the Paris climate accord.
“These will be the first commitments we make here,” President Biden told reporters when he first appeared in the Oval Office.
Aides say President Biden has signed a decree establishing a new unit within the White House to coordinate the anti-Covid-19 campaign. Mr. Biden also halted the process of US withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO).
In terms of immigration, Mr. Biden signed an order to stop funding for border wall construction and end Donald Trump’s travel ban on some Muslim majority countries. Further decrees included revoking a ban on transgender people from enlistment, reversing a policy that prevents the US from funding overseas abortion-related programs, and rejecting approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline project.
“I think with the current country’s situation there is no time to waste. Get to work immediately,” added the president.
Mr. Biden also said these will be the first decrees in the early days of the new administration.
“As we said earlier, we will sign some follow-up decrees in the coming days and weeks,” said the president.
“Some of the decrees I sign today will help change the course of the Covid-19 crisis and combat climate change in ways that we have never done before,” he added.
Mr. Biden’s decision to rejoin the Paris climate agreement was welcomed by the European Union (EU) in a joint statement by European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans and EU head of foreign affairs Josep Borrell. “We look forward to the United States by our side in our global efforts to combat the climate crisis,” the statement said.
He also called the decrees the “starting point” for fulfilling his campaign promise.
Mr. Biden’s plan to sign 17 decrees in the first hour of power destroys his predecessor’s legacy faster than any other president in modern times.