Joe Biden, the newly elected president of the United States of America, metaphorically walked the aisle Wednesday to take the country’s hand in a four-year marriage with a historic inauguration after a single term by Donald Trump.
Keen observers and pundits foresee some fundamental paradigm shifts, mainly in politics, economy and diplomatic relationships, in America, with all its military, economic and political muscles.
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Of special interest to these observers and pundits is what to expect in the first 100 days of Biden’s presidency.
There are huge expectations, both within and outside the US, from the Biden presidency considering the enormous support he garnered at the polls.
There is no gainsaying that Biden has done his first homework well as his campaign succeeded in knocking the outgoing president, Donald Trump, off his perch, however relentless the incumbent and his supporters had been.
Biden’s promises of shoring up the wounded American economy, mending the fractured foreign policy and containing the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed over 400,000 lives, aided in this regard.
The threat that the COVID-19 pandemic has posed is still staring the world wide in the eyes.
Because of its failure to effectively champion global efforts to protect the human race against the pandemic, many have been forced into believing that the key to the vault of global leadership is slipping from the fingers of the US.
Donald Trump has succeeded in putting America’s foreign policy on crutches with his ‘America First’ mantra.
Biden’s first 100 days
But what would Biden like to achieve in his first 100 days in office?
A US-based Nigerian analyst, Hassan Jibia, said reducing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and stitching America’s fractured diplomatic relationships will be among the new president’s top priorities.
“Among Biden’s priorities is to reduce the spread of the virus.
“Right now, the pandemic has killed almost 400,000 Americans.
“The first step any responsible government would take is to try to curb the effect of the virus, encourage COVID-19 protocols and, more importantly, improve the dissemination of the Coronavirus vaccines.
“This would be followed by signing of a number of executive orders to undo some of the policies of the former president the new administration might have disagreed with, especially the visa ban on Muslim-majority countries and payment of student loans, among others”, he said.
Jibia added that there are certain diplomatic relationships the Trump’s administration had strained.
“Biden’s presidency may decide to stitch fractured relationships to show the world that a new government is in town and perhaps convince the international community that the US hasn’t abandoned its responsibilities in relation to insecurity, terrorism and global warming, for instance.
“The trade relationship between the US and China needs to be addressed too.
“Diplomatic issues with countries such as Iran, Cuba would definitely come into play,” he added.
‘Biden for all’
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been sworn as the 46th president of the US and vice president respectively.
But one highly value-loaded promise President Biden made on the inauguration day is to be a “president for all Americans”, including those who had not voted for him.
He said: “I pledge this to you. I will be a president for all Americans. All Americans. And I promise you I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.”
This might have renewed hopes considering the existential challenges and fault lines, especially the present political struggle the country is faced with and how it continues to polarize it.
The recently concluded election ushers in a new political dynamic and the two political parties remain bitterly hostile to each other that a decisive action is needed to reverse the mess.
First executive orders
On the inauguration day, Biden signed 15 executive orders, including two agency actions.
Chief among them are rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement on Climate Change, “mask mandate” and repealing of “Muslim-majority countries visa ban”.
The reversal of the Paris Climate Agreement on Climate Change is a stark rebuke against Trump’s “America First” approach.
By so doing, the president is demonstrating a political will to address what is called climate change crises.
The launch of “100 Days Masking Challenge”, meant to encourage Americans to wear masks and to maintain social distancing on federal property is part of the efforts to contain the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The executive order lifting the ban on travel restrictions will address some burning issues of shortage of doctors in rural America and reunite families did apart by the Trump administration’s draconian policy.
The so-called Muslim–majority travel ban had restricted about seventeen countries including Nigeria, among other African countries.
There is this popular view, not only among individuals but also key members of European states, that American system had broken and the world can no longer rely on America for survival.
Biden has arrived with a renewed energy that if sustained, he will, as pundits believe, help the country make a comeback as the “preeminent global leader”.