Good morning! For the second day in a row I awoke without fear. I didn’t immediately reach for my phone to see what disaster was created overnight. I wasn’t worried about what atrocity was committed in my name. Instead I feel, as many others are feeling, that a giant weight has been lifted. I’m sure that soon enough having a competent federal government will feel normal, but I hope to never forget the way I feel today. We worked so hard, and we won, and in less than two days we have seen actions that proved we were right to join this fight.
Let’s take a look at what has been accomplished in our names in the last one and a half days. We have a national strategy for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. It includes plans for effective and equitable vaccination distribution, increased testing, mitigating the spread of the virus and safely reopening schools and businesses. We no longer have to worry about red states and blue states being treated differently; this is a plan for the entire nation. Covid-19 won’t go away immediately, and as President Biden said, “Things are going to continue to get worse before they get better,” but suddenly it feels like there is light at the end of a very dark tunnel. It feels so good to have a president who trusts us with the facts, even the hard ones, instead of lying to us.
The new president also addressed the economic devastation caused by the pandemic and extended the pause on student loan payments and the restrictions on housing evictions and foreclosures. He also has announced a sweeping Covid-19 relief package to provide economic assistance to those in need.
In the first hours of the new administration we have shown the rest of the world that we share their concern for the climate crisis by rejoining the Paris Accords and have acknowledged that we can’t have an “America only” plan for dealing with health issues, by announcing that we will once again be part of the World Health Organization.
President Biden showed his commitment to compassionate immigration reform by revoking the former administration’s plans to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the 2020 census count. This means each state will get its fair share of congressional representation and electoral votes. He also rescinded a 2019 executive order that instructed the Census Bureau to produce citizenship data based on government records. In order to ensure that we have a “fair and effective enforcement system,” the Department of Homeland Security announced a 100-day moratorium on deportations. The president announced that he plans to bolster the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and provide a path to citizenship for these immigrants.
In the last two days we have been treated to real, live press conferences. New Press Secretary Jen Psaki met with the media on national TV, told reporters the truth about the president’s day, and then answered questions honestly. It was refreshing and heartening to be reminded of what these events are supposed to be: a means for the president and staff to communicate regularly with everyone. On Thursday Dr. Anthony Fauci, now President Biden’s chief medical advisor, spoke to the media about his relief that this government plans to be transparent and honest about the pandemic, and he stated that the lies from the previous administration about the Covid-19 pandemic “very likely” cost American lives.
The last couple of days also saw a decision to halt border wall construction, revoke permits for the Keystone Pipeline, commit to rooting out systemic racism in all federal workplaces and an executive order that will reinforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — which requires that the federal government not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
President Biden has many more strategies in process to once again make the U.S. the fair, just and independent leader of the free world. I look forward to awakening each and every morning, eager to see what the day will bring.
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