By Elle Baker
December 14, 2020
Following an anxiety filled and pivotal presidential election, there are a few speculations
of how successful the Biden-Harris administration will be.
As for his first 100 days, President-elect Biden has many promises to keep, as many of
his proposed policies he has said to enact once taken office will change the path of the nation
from that of the Trump Administration’s.
Throughout much of his campaign, Biden released many zealous plans ranging from
large-scale economic and environmental initiatives to ambitious actions on racial justice,
education, and health care. A significant amount of Biden’s agenda also focuses on reversing or
updating positions taken by the Trump administration, especially on immigration and foreign
While many of his plans are for the good of the people and will greatly benefit the nation,
there are a few issues the President-elect must face first: a divided Congress. Control of the
Senate is still up in the air, with two Georgia runoff elections set for January, but Republicans
are anticipated to maintain control. Democrats also have a slimmer majority in the House of
Representatives, where the GOP made gains contrary to most party leaders’ and analysts’
The political tension in Washington D.C. means Biden may have to put some policy
proposals that many on the left of his party have been pushing on health care and the
environment onto the back burner until stability re-ensues. He will likely need to focus more
immediately on issues that could attract bipartisan support, such as providing COVID-19 relief
and improving U.S. infrastructure.
During his presidential campaign, President-elect Joe Biden repeatedly noted about what
his handle on the coronavirus would be should he take office. Now that the election results are
clearly in his favor, Biden has begun creating a task force, ready to take action once Inauguration
Day comes to pass.
So far, Biden has announced Rick Bright, the former head of the vaccine-development
agency BARDA ousted by the Trump administration in April, Atul Gawande, the surgeon,
writer, and recently departed CEO of Haven, the joint JP Morgan Chase-Berkshire
Hathaway-Amazon health care company, and Luciana Borio, a former Food and Drug
Administration official and biodefense specialist to be apart of his task force. His advisory board
will include Marcella Nunez-Smith, a Yale physician and researcher, Vivek Murthy, a former
U.S. surgeon general, and David Kessler, a former FDA commissioner, according to Stat News.
Biden has assured the public that the task force would quickly consult with state and local
health officials on how to best prevent coronavirus spread, reopen schools and businesses, and
address the racial inequality that have left communities of color harder hit than others by the
pandemic. By addressing the issues facing the nation with the scientists and experts backing his
decision making, Biden has laid down a solid solution for tackling the coronavirus as best as he
With much of his task force announced to the public, it is clear that the Biden transition
plans to take affirmative action with a wide variety of health officials to assist in his handle on
the virus. There are multiple officials who were either let go by or a part of a company put down
by the Trump administration, leading many to believe that Biden must feel they have more to
provide to the nation’s recovery than the last administration did.
Additionally, Biden has stated that will push for a COVID-19 legislation, meaning he
will begin to work on a new coronavirus aid package before officially taking office, by
coordinating with state governors, mayors and other local politicians.
Biden’s proposed COVID-19 response plan calls for expanding coronavirus testing
resources as well as for increasing the country’s capacity to make personal protective equipment
by leveraging the Defense Production Act, which is a law dating back to the early years of the
Cold War to address serious shortages of supplies needed for responding to the coronavirus. The
order states that it is imperative for all health and medical resources needed to respond to the
spread of the virus are distributed swiftly and properly throughout the healthcare system. Mr.
Trump signed this act in the early stages of the virus.
Biden has also backed legislation that would create a separate COVID-19 Racial and
Ethnic Disparities Task Force, which Vice President-elect Kamala Harris proposed in the Senate
in the spring. As part of a COVID-19 relief package, Biden has in the past called for at least
$10,000 in student loan debt to be canceled for all Americans.
“I’ll ask the new Congress to put a bill on my desk by the end of January with all the
resources to see how both our public health and economic response can be seen through the end,”
he said at an event in October, according to NPR news.
Among many other coronavirus related proposals, the Biden transition team has pledged
to address multiple other issues on Biden’s first day, including economic, environmental, and
Economically, he plans to reverse Trump’s corporate tax cuts to raise corporate income
taxes to 28% compared to the current 21%. This promise falls under Biden’s larger tax plan
which stresses that Americnas making less than $400,000 a year would not pay more in taxes.
Environmentally, Biden plans to reenter the U.S. into the Paris climate accord, one of his
longest-standing campaign promises. Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the agreement
became official this month after a mandatory one year waiting period that began when the
president notified the UN last November.
For immigration, the Biden administration pledges to create comprehensive immigration
legislation that creates a pathway to citizenship for 11 million migrants living in the U.S.
illegally, among people requiring citizenship. He also vows to stop the separation of immigrant
families trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico by establishing a task force to focus on reuniting
the separated families at the border.
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have high expectations
to meet, and if all goes well, the United States is looking at a promising future.