WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday began signing 15 executive actions addressing the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and racial inequality, and undoing some policies put in place by his predecessor Donald Trump.
The actions, fulfilling his promise to move quickly on Day One of his presidency, initiate the process of the United States rejoining the Paris climate accord and include the revocation of the presidential permit granted for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The steps Biden is taking will end a travel ban Trump put in place on some majority-Muslim countries. He is also calling upon his administration to strengthen the DACA program for immigrants brought to the United States as children.
The new president is also ordering the wearing of masks and social distancing in all federal buildings and on all federal lands and is ending a national emergency declaration that was the basis for diverting some federal funds to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Just hours after his inauguration at the US Capitol on Wednesday, Biden signed 15 executive actions that his team earlier said aimed to “reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration”.
Biden told reporters in the Oval Office that there was “no time to waste”.
“Some of the executive actions I’m going to be signing today are going to help change the course of the COVID crisis, we’re going to combat climate change in a way that we haven’t done so far and advance racial equity and support other underserved communities,” he said, as reported by the Reuters news agency.