Corona, climate, migration: How Biden is turning back Trump's politics

Corona, climate, migration
How Biden is turning back Trump's politics

The new US president doesn’t lose any time: On the day of his inauguration, Joe Biden signed numerous decrees and bills that reverse the policies of his predecessor. It's about the corona pandemic, but above all about a new tone.

Immediately after taking office, the new US President Joe Biden began to avert the particularly controversial decisions of his predecessor Donald Trump. Biden initiated the return to the Paris climate agreement on Wednesday, stopped the US exit from the World Health Organization (WHO) and lifted an entry ban for people from Muslim countries. Even apart from concrete measures, it became clear after a few hours that Biden wanted to shape a completely different style than Trump in the White House.

International cooperation

In his inaugural address at the US Capitol on Wednesday, Biden promised: "We will fix our alliances and work with the world." Shortly afterwards, he took the first steps towards this: he initiated the return to the Paris climate agreement. The United States officially left in early November – a year after Trump's administration withdrew from the historic deal. According to the UN, the United States will now be part of the treaty again from February 19. Biden says he wants America to be a leading nation in the fight against global warming.

Biden also relies on international cooperation in coping with the corona pandemic. On Wednesday, he stopped Trump's exit from the World Health Organization in the middle of the global crisis. With the respected US immunologist Anthony Fauci as head of the delegation, the new government wants to participate in a WHO meeting again on Thursday.

Corona pandemic

In the fight against the corona pandemic, Biden is also relying on stricter rules – he ordered a mask requirement for the next 100 days. However, it only applies to locations within the federal jurisdiction, for example in federal agency buildings, airplanes and trains, and buses in traffic between states. Biden made the fight against the pandemic one of his most important tasks. The virus is still spreading uncontrollably in the United States. More than 400,000 people have died in the United States since the pandemic began. In the coming days, Biden wanted to take further measures to deal with the crisis.


Biden also proved on Wednesday that he wants to move away from Trump's rigorous anti-migration course. He lifted the entry ban imposed by Trump for people from several predominantly Muslim countries, which Trump had issued a week after he took office in 2017. A few hours after he was sworn in, Biden also sent a draft law to the US Congress. According to the new White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, it provides, among other things, that people without a residence permit in the USA should be given the chance of a residence permit – and in the long term also US citizenship.

Biden also instructed the Ministry of Homeland Security to take steps aimed at securing a program to protect around 700,000 young migrants from deportation. Biden also withdrew the financial basis for a project close to Trump's heart: the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico.

The new tone

Biden took office with a call for unity and reconciliation – which was also in contrast to his predecessor. "I will be a president for all Americans," promised Biden in his inaugural address in front of the highly secured US Capitol, which had been stormed by violent supporters of Trump two weeks earlier. Biden said he would fight for those who did not support him in the election as much as for those who did. It is not a candidate's victory that is celebrated, but the victory of democracy. "Democracy has prevailed."

Biden demanded from his employees that they should be aware of their obligation to the people and urged that they treat each other with respect. "If you ever work with me and I hear that you are disrespecting another colleague, putting someone down – I promise I will fire you on the spot," said Biden. For his part, he promised that he would admit his own mistakes and deal with them openly.

The new White House also promised transparency and honest dealings with journalists. Spokeswoman Psaki announced that she wants to revive the daily press briefings in the White House. Traditionally, press conferences in the White House used to take place on working days. Under Biden's predecessor Donald Trump they only existed sporadically – if at all. Trump's spokesmen had a strained relationship with the White House press corps, but were all the more loyal to Trump.

Trump's message

The paths of Biden and Trump did not cross in the White House on Wednesday – Trump had already left for Florida the morning before Biden was sworn in. He was the first president since Andrew Johnson in 1869 to miss the inauguration ceremony of his successor. Trump did not break with one tradition: he left Biden a note in the President's office before he moved out of the White House.

"The president wrote a very benevolent letter," said Biden. Because the letter is a personal matter, he does not want to talk about it until he has spoken to Trump. In 1989, US President Ronald Reagan established the tradition of leaving a letter to the successor in office in the Oval Office.

. (tagsToTranslate) Politics (t) Joe Biden (t) Donald Trump (t) USA (t) Refugee Policy (t) Corona Measures (t) Paris Climate Agreement