Within hours of his inauguration President Joe Biden got to work undoing as much as possible of his predecessor’s legacy. One of his first acts was to fire certain political appointees made by Trump. And President Biden also followed through on the 17 executive orders which he had promised to make. This included a new aggressive policy on fighting the spread of the Coronavirus.
Michael Pack, who took charge of the U.S. Agency for Global Media just last June, was the first to be fired. Pack had been accused of turning the Voice of America, which is run by that agency, into a propaganda tool for Donald Trump. He also canceled the visas of foreign journalists who wrote critically of the Trump administration.
Kathleen Kraninger was fired as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She was said to undermine the agency’s role as a watchdog for the financial sector. She also refused to enforce a federal law that protected military personnel against predatory lending.
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There was also the controversial last minute appointment of Michael Ellis as the National Security Agency General Counsel. The Defense Department reportedly tried to stall his appointment and only acquiesced after threats were made by President Trump. Ellis was placed on administrative leave Wednesday as his appointment is now the subject of a Department of Defense inspector general investigation.
The new Biden administration is already dealing with the mess left behind regarding the Federal government’s handling of the Coronavirus crisis. More than 400,000 Americans have now died due to Covid-19. Donald Trump not only failed to properly manage the crisis, but he also mocked people who wore masks and took no steps to prevent the spread of infection. He even held his own “super spreader” events at the White House and had large campaign rallies, resulting in Trump’s own infection with Covid-19.
President Biden signed an executive order just after being sworn in appointing Jeffrey D. Zients as America’s official Covid-19 response coordinator. He will will report to the president directly. The President also restored the directorate for global health security and biodefense at the National Security Council, which Donald Trump had disbanded.
A new policy will be the mandating that all people wear masks while on Federal property.
Jeff Zients told reporters Wednesday, “What we’re inheriting from the Trump administration is so much worse than we could have imagined. We don’t have the visibility that we would hope to have into supply and allocations.”
Tom Frieden, the former director for the Centers for Disease Control in the Obama administration, told the Daily Beast, “I think we have to level-set expectations. There are lots of things that an incoming administration can do on Day One, including speaking honestly about the pandemic.”
“At least we won’t have a president that’s actively fighting those rules on national television,” one official working with the new Biden COVID-19 team told the Daily Best.