United President Joe Biden has signed a flurry of executive orders to launch his administration on Wednesday.
The orders, mostly aimed at reversing decisions by his predecessor Donald Trump, included a decision to rejoin the Paris climate accord, reversing the process of leaving the World Health Organization (WHO), ending the ban on entries from mostly Muslim-majority countries, bolstering environmental protections and strengthening the fight against COVID-19.
“We are going to combat climate change in a way we have not done so far,” Biden told reporters in the Oval Office.
Biden signed three executive orders in the presence of reporters: implementing a mask mandate on federal property, increasing support for underserved communities and rejoining the Paris climate accord.
“I thought there’s no time to wait. Get to work immediately,” he told reporters.
Biden has also halted funding for the construction of Trump’s border wall.
His executive order revoking the travel ban, often referred to as the Muslim ban, will ensure that the State Department restarts visa processing for affected countries.
The order also calls for a proposal to be developed to “restore fairness and remedy the harms caused by the bans, especially for individuals stuck in the waiver process and those who had immigrant visas denied,” Biden’s transition team said in a summary of the orders on Wednesday.
Biden’s day-one actions are part of his pledge to repair America’s alliances and reestablish the US as a leader in global affairs.
Trump’s “America First” policy saw the US repudiate many global institutions, as the former president consistently argued that the US government was getting taken advantage of by the international community.
Biden signed a total of 17 executive actions on Wednesday aimed at boosting the federal response to the COVID-19 crisis, reversing the previous administration’s stance on climate change, immigration and race relations.
His administration plans to roll out a total of 53 executive actions over the next 10 days, many of which will directly undo Trump’s policies.