One of the first areas to receive the intervention of the new American President, Joe Biden, was public health. The Democrat acted quickly to coordinate an effort to combat the covid-19 pandemic, with steps taken to expand testing and vaccination and reinforcing the use of masks.
“Things will continue to get worse before they get better,” said the new President, referring to the pandemic that is plaguing the country. Biden also made a personal appeal to Americans, asking them to wear masks over the next 99 days to stop the spread of the virus.
“This is a war effort,” said Biden. The President’s tone and plans contrast with those of his predecessor, Donald Trump, who has repeatedly sought to devalue the scale of the crisis.
The new measures enacted by Biden over the course of yesterday establish a committee that will increase testing, resolve material shortages, establish protocols with international travelers and direct resources to the hardest-hit minority communities.
The new rules require masks at airports and some public transport, including most trains, planes and long-distance buses, Reuters said.
In presenting his plan to fight the covid-19 pandemic, the new White House tenant also said that travelers should be in a position to present a negative test for the virus. He also announced that quarantine will now be mandatory for everyone arriving by plane to the United States.
The Biden administration will also expand vaccine production and its ability to purchase more doses by “leveraging contractual authorities, including the Defense Production Act,” according to the White House plan.
Biden pledged to provide 100 million doses of the covid-19 vaccine in the first 100 days as President. The plan aims to increase vaccination by reaching more people, such as teachers and cashiers in supermarkets.
The Democratic President placed the fight against the disease at the top of a list of challenges for his administration, which also includes topics such as the reconstruction of a devastated economy and racial injustice. The Democrat proposed a $ 1.9 billion plan to improve employment subsidies and direct payments to households.
However, some of Biden’s early initiatives could get stuck in Congress, where the Senate is considering how to proceed with Trump’s dismissal trial.
Biden revokes “patriotic education” in schools
The President of the United States revoked a recent report by the Donald Trump Government that he intended to promote “patriotic education” in schools, which was criticized by historians for considering it to be political propaganda.
In an executive order signed on Wednesday, just hours after taking office as 46th President of the United States, Biden dissolved the 1776 Commission, which had been appointed by Trump, and removed a report that had been released by that group of experts on Monday.
In the report, which Trump hoped would be used in classrooms across the country, the 1776 Commission glorified the country’s founders, downplaying the United States’ role in slavery, condemning the growth of progressive politics, and arguing that the civil rights movement it had come into conflict with the ideals espoused by the nation’s founding fathers.
The commission’s panel of experts, which did not include professional historians from the United States, criticized “false and fashionable ideologies” that describes the country’s history as “oppression and victimization”. Alternatively, the report recommended a renewed effort to promote “a courageous and honest love” for the United States.
The community of American historians has widely criticized the report, saying it presents a false and outdated version of American history, ignoring decades of investigation.
“It is an insult to the entire educational enterprise. Education must help young people learn to think critically, ”said David Blight, a Civil War historian at Yale University, accusing the report of being“ a piece of propaganda from the right ”.
The Trump administration referred to the report as a “definitive chronicle of the creation of the United States”, but historians say it ignores the basic rules of scientific documents, namely having no bibliographic references to support the arguments.
The report also includes several passages copied directly from other writings, as one researcher discovered, after analyzing the document using a computer program to detect plagiarism.
The report ended by calling for a structural change in the teaching of history in American schools and universities, which the panel of experts described as “foci of anti-Americanism”.
In his executive order to dissolve the 1776 Commission, Biden said the purpose of this initiative was “to erase America’s history of racial injustice.”
Discord over abortion
Joe Biden is the second Catholic president, in a country where Christianity is in the majority (70.6% of the population), but is mainly represented by Protestants. Catholics currently represent 20.8% of the American population, recalls the Observer.
Biden does not hide it, being that in the inaugural speech, he quoted Saint Augustine. Still, the Democrat is far from having a peaceful relationship with the Catholic electorate, especially with the more traditionalists, which Trump has managed to attract with conservative policies – for example, taking a stand against abortion.
The Democrat defends the right to abortion and promises to transform Roe v. Wade – the famous 1973 lawsuit whose jurisprudence is currently the legal protection of abortion in the USA – in law.
The defense of abortion has hampered the relationship between Biden and his own Church. In late 2019, during the campaign for the Democratic primaries, a Catholic priest banned Biden from communing during a Mass in the state of South Carolina, claiming that the Democrat was not in communion with the Catholic Church: “Anyone who defends the abortion is outside the teachings of the Church ”.
Also on Wednesday, the US Episcopal Conference issued an extensive statement congratulating Biden on his inauguration. However, despite the sympathy of the first lines, it is possible to reveal in the statement a very critical tone of Biden throughout the text, in which the word “abortion” appears eight times.
For his part, Pope Francis sent a message to Biden, asking that “the American people continue to seek strength from the high political, ethical and religious values that have inspired the country since its foundation”.
In the letter, the Pope highlights the challenges posed by the “serious crises that the human family faces” at the present moment in history but refrained from any reference to issues such as abortion or euthanasia.
Source: with Agencies