Since President Biden’s inauguration back in January, he has now taken Presidency from the former President, Donald Trump. With much of the world’s attention on Coronavirus issues, and perhaps domestic attention on Brexit, Biden’s policies so far may have gone unnoticed.
In January 2021, Biden overturned Trump’s transgender military ban. This was originally announced by Mr. Trump during his first year in office, taking effect in April 2019, after Trump explained on twitter: the country would no longer “accept or allow” transgender Americans to serve in the military, citing “tremendous medical costs and disruptions.” However, President Biden has overturned this ban, stating that “transgender servicemembers will no longer be subject to the possibility of discharge or separation on the basis of gender identity.”
Along with this, Biden has also overturned a travel ban regarding eight countries of which six were predominantly Muslim. This earned the colloquial term of Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban.’ However, as of January there has been “profound relief and joy” as this ban was lifted after 4 years.
President Biden has also returned to the Paris Climate Agreement, which will re-introduce environmental red tape for industries. President Biden has also made a commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2050. The environmental ambitions of America’s Presidency can be seen already by President Biden’s suspension of Trump’s Arctic drilling rights. After decades of dispute, the former Trump administration pushed ahead with the first sale of oil leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – home to many important species, including polar bears, wolves, and reindeer. Despite many of Alaska’s political representatives believing that drilling in the Arctic Refuge could lead to another major oil find – possibly up to 11 billion barrels of oil, President Biden has now suspended the oil leases pending an environmental review. Arctic tribal leaders have praised this decision.
Notably, President Biden has also become the first sitting US President to commemorate the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre – where 300 African Americans were killed in what is considered to be one of the worst events of racial violence in US history. President Biden met with survivors to mark 100 years since the event and described it as “not a riot, this was a massacre.”
It therefore seems President Biden has implemented many encouraging, and perhaps ambitious, policies in the US. However, with tensions still apparent from anti-US rallies due to the US sanctions to Ethiopia amidst Ethiopia’s conflict, President Biden surely has ongoing work to do.