#GoodMorningDC and Good Morning to New Dawn In America.
Good Morning DC. Joe Biden is the new president, and he's already busy at work. His first acts in office swiftly reversed Trump’s travel ban, took action on rent moratoriums, and restored America as a partner of the Paris Climate Agreement and a member of the World Health Organization.
Democracy has prevailed, the media agrees.
Dr. Fauci will address the World Health Organization today. Good Morning DC had a chance to review Fauci's speech, and we learned that he would announce, too, that the United States "will cease the drawdown of U.S. staff seconded to the WHO." America plans to resume "regular engagement of U.S. government personnel with the WHO both directly and through our WHO Collaborating Centers."
Dr. Fauci will let the WHO know that President Biden will issue a directive later today announcing his intent to join COVAX and support the ACT-Accelerator. Biden aims to advance "multilateral efforts for COVID-19 vaccine, therapeutic, and diagnostic distribution, equitable access, and research and development."
The reaction of world leaders to the new era in their public statements was favorable.
"Welcome back to the Paris Agreement!" French leader Emmanuel Macron could not hide his excitement. Britain's PM Boris Johnson said that President Biden rejoining the Paris Agreement is "hugely positive news." Johnson reminded the world that this year Britain will host COP26 in Glasgow and that he is looking forward to "working with our U.S. partners to do all we can to safeguard our planet." He assessed the inauguration as “a step forward for the country that has been through a bumpy period.”
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen welcomed Biden with words of joy. “This new dawn in America is the moment we’ve been waiting for so long…... Once again, after four long years, Europe has a friend in the White House.”
Pope Francis prayed. He asked God, “the source of all wisdom and truth,” to guide Biden’s efforts to “foster understanding, reconciliation and peace within the US and among the nations of the world in order to advance the universal common good.”
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic invited Biden to visit Serbia.
Biden's first call with a foreign leader on Monday will be with Justin Trudeau. Good Morning DC reported that Canadian government officials told Washington DC-based journalist Richard Madan that Biden's decision to kill the KeyStoneXL pipeline was a slap in the face to Trudeau. Biden intends to talk his decision through with Canada, but in the old-fashioned American way: after the fact.
On the immigration front, for 100 days, starting January 22, 2021, DHS will pause removals of certain noncitizens ordered to be deported. Biden wants to ensure a "fair and effective immigration enforcement system," protecting national and border security as well as public safety simultaneously.
"Even in dark times—We not only dream. We do," said Kamala Harris last night at the Celebration of America ceremony. She is the first female vice president in American history, a history of political power that has not been kind to women with ambition. Now Harris has a chance.
Biden reversed Trump's wall with Mexico, the most significant and controversial illegal immigration move that championed his campaign for the 2016 election. "Building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution. It is a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security," stated Biden. "It shall be the policy of my administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall," Biden declared, signing his proclamation.
The new Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, held her first press briefing at the White House last night. Despite her overuse of the word "mechanism," she gave a stellar performance. She called on every single journalist in the room and said that we would have regular briefings daily from Monday to Friday. Knowing what the day brings was never a trademark of the Trump administration. I remember never being able to plan too far ahead, as there was always the possibility of a press conference, but rarely did they end up occurring. Everything changed by the minute, so news coverage was hard to plan.
Journalism is being tested, big time. FOX NEWS was the Trump administration's main arm, and CNN and MSNBC will take on that role for the Biden administration. In a media ecosystem where cable networks so openly side with an administration of choice, independent journalism is a dire necessity.
Finally, if anything is already evident, it is that serious journalism will get more of a chance under Joe Biden. Policy details won't be missing, and factual, analytical journalism will eclipse the grandstanding that dominated the media over the past four years. Many journalists built their careers on one product solely: attacking Donald Trump. In a new order of things, there is no Trump, and some more nuanced skills will be useful in informing an audience that will now be ushered in the direction of unity and calm. A calm society hosts more careful listeners, so what you say better be damn good. Having lost their #1 punchline, independent journalism has a bigger chance now than ever to claim facts over fiction, independence over partisan interest. Sobering objectivity is the antidote to wishful thinking.
What will Biden do today? This morning, he will watch the Virtual Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service hosted by the Washington National Cathedral. Then, he will receive a daily briefing in the Oval Office. The rest of Biden's second day at the White House will be reserved for considerations of his COVID-19 response. He will deliver remarks on how he plans to deal with the pandemic, before signing executive orders and other presidential actions on the matter. After that, Biden and Harris will be briefed on the state of vaccination.
Biden will introduce a 100-day mask challenge, asking Americans to keep their masks on.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki will hold a press briefing at 4 PM EST.
“Speak softly and carry a big stick” may be the doctrine of this new administration for the next four years. The following 100 days for Biden will be critical. When the honeymoon phase fades, his actions will remain for assessment.
Meanwhile, it's a new day in America. Out with the old, and in with the new. Take a breather while you can. Impeachment, the Sequel, is simmering in the background, and while the GOP may have gone radio silent off-stage, their internal problems did not go away. Democratic and Republican sources of Good Morning DC say that Trump will be found guilty by the Senate. America’s problems did not go away. Much is expected from a new president. To end this uncivil war is quite an undertaking.
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