What the New Presidency Has Brought in the First Week


President Joe Biden sits in the Oval Office while signing several documents. (AP News)

Stephanie Pickens, News Reporter

With the Inauguration of Joe Biden, who became the 46th President just a week ago, quite some progress has been made within seven days of a new presidency, as is with any. About 40 executive actions were made, many of which involved reversing policies made during the previous presidency of Donald Trump. 

President Biden delivers his inaugural address at the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 after taking oath of office. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

To begin with, an interesting distinction regarding Biden’s cabinet, according to the New York Times, is that it has one of the most balanced representations of gender that the White House has seen in at least the past four administrations before him. Additionally, his cabinet is also the most diverse, with more than 50% of members being POC.  

On the first day, the country rejoined the Paris Agreement, an international effort to slow down carbon emissions that have added to the crisis of climate change and global warming. With racial injustice being a very big focal point this year, Biden also ordered for government to “conduct equity assessments of its agencies and reallocate resources” for those who have been marginalized through discrimination and other acts of inequality including the influence of poverty. 

“I’m hoping for reform in the police system by defunding it and educating the police force on racism and allowing social workers to answer some types of calls where police [are] not needed,” said Rangeview senior Julia Stacks.

Only five days after his inauguration, Biden reversed the ban on transgender people serving in the military and banned discrimination against someone’s gender identity and sexual orientation, giving the LGBTQ+ community another layer of security. 

His immigration plans include the return of DACA, a policy made during the Obama-era. Biden also proposed the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 bill which would allow a potential 11 million immigrants to gain citizenship in a sooner time frame of eight years than 13 with qualifications. 

In regards to COVID-19, he directed health department leaders to stay efficient and sufficient with resources to help fight the ongoing pandemic such as PPE (personal

Earlier in the year, fast food workers demanded a raise in minimum wage due to many being below poverty level despite how much they work. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

protective equipment), testing kits, and vaccines. He also ordered persistent research for COVID-19 treatments and more for support in areas that were in and have been in critical conditions.


“Like so many people have said, the new president is by no means some sort of perfect savior, and I think it’s important that people don’t idolize him because that’s where a lot of problems came from in the last presidency,” said RHS senior Ellie Newman. 


With the reopening of schools and continuing curriculum, an executive order will encourage schools to decide when and how to open in-person learning again and how to maintain safety protocol simultaneously. Travel restrictions have been reinstated and have barred many non-citizens from being able to come back, especially those coming from Europe, Brazil, and most recently, South Africa where a new strain of the virus has been found. 

With the economic climate that the country has been left with, an ambitious raise to $15 for the minimum wage has been proposed by Biden and the Democrats. However, many speculations have surrounded it, seeing it could potentially only cause problems with inflation and other areas. 

As with any presidential change, not everything will be seen as betterment for the country since it is impossible to have everyone agree, regardless of personal opinions. 

“While I’m relieved to know that progressivism has a potential upper hand with Democrats leading the majority, I hope that both sides would cooperate with each other through a mutual agreement that we don’t have time for petty scandals or controversy; our values align in more ways than they don’t,” expressed Rangeview senior Iyanla Ayite. “I want to see them do hard work to work together, not for their own agendas, but really prove to us, the people, that they care about our well being and understand what we need.”