Biden to sign 'roughly a dozen' Inauguration Day orders

Biden to sign 'roughly a dozen' Inauguration Day orders

Biden to sign 'roughly a dozen' Inauguration Day orders

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Friday said he would order increased production of syringes and other supplies to ramp up vaccinations against COVID-19 and improve upon the Trump administration rollout that he called a "dismal failure". Those are among roughly a dozen actions Biden will take on his first day in the White House, his incoming chief of staff, Ron Klain, said in a memo to senior staff.

The US is fast approaching 400,000 deaths from the Covid-19 crisis and logging well over a million new cases a week as the coronavirus spreads out of control.

He is asking all Americans to wear masks for the first 100 days of his presidency - a probably futile call given Trump's politicisation of mask-wearing, which has left many supporters view it as an infringement of their freedom.

And LGBTQ activists, like Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David, said it is critical for Biden to show clearly at the outset of his administration that he is committed to rewriting actions taken by the Trump administration.

Biden said his team has identified companies that are ready to be activated under the law, which enables the president to order businesses to produce items necessary for national defense.

First-day directives will focus on measures to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout, including an extension of student loan forbearance past January 31 and an extension of a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, according to Klain.

In a dig at the outgoing Trump administration, President-elect Joe Biden introduced his slate of scientific advisers Saturday with the promise that they would summon "science and truth" to combat the coronavirus pandemic, climate crisis and other challenges.

Other orders are waiting on a legal clearance process - a step Trump often skipped in his first days, leading to confusion and legal challenges that sometimes required him to correct his own orders.

"While the policy objectives in these executive actions are bold, I want to be clear: the legal theory behind them is well-founded and represents a restoration of an appropriate, constitutional role for the President", the memorandum said.

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He was considering "peaceful and nonviolent protests" over the declared results and said "every legal option is on the table". So, I think let's continue with what we are doing and if someone has an issue with them, they can challenge them".

The following day will see action on providing economic relief to those suffering the economic costs of the pandemic.

"A crisis of deep human suffering is in plain sight, and there's no time to waste", Mr Biden said in prime-time remarks from DE on Thursday (local time).

For climate change activists, Biden's promise to take swift action on an array of climate issues was a key part of why progressives rallied around Biden once he cleared the Democratic field, said Jared Leopold, co-founder of Evergreen Action, a group of former staffers to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who ran for president in 2020 focused nearly entirely on climate change. The New York Times reported earlier on Klain's memo.

But Biden will also unveil a long-expected immigration proposal that would provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants that does require congressional action.

A Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States is on track to have 300 million doses available by the end of Biden's first 100 days in office.

Biden announced his two-pronged "American Rescue Plan" on Thursday evening, with one focus being on providing $160 billion to accelerate the rollout of vaccines nationwide and granting public school districts with $170 billion-more than twice the amount provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act combined.

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"You have my word: We will manage the hell out of this operation", Biden declared.

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