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President Biden Gets to Work

President Joe Biden came into office amid the ongoing threats of the pandemic and climate change. 

President Joe Biden is calling for urgency and empathy to deal with the challenges facing the United States, including the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.

COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by the virus, has claimed more than 425,000 lives in the U.S. to date. More than 25.5 million people across the country have become infected. Although vaccines are now being distributed globally, public health officials say that it will be several months before the virus can be contained. 

On his first day in office, Biden signed several executive orders to take on the pandemic, the economy, and climate change. Some of those orders undid President Donald Trump’s actions. For example, Biden rejoined the Paris climate agreement, which addresses the global climate emergency. When Trump came into office in 2017, he withdrew U.S. support for the international pact.

Biden also signed an order halting construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The pipeline would have transported oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Scientists say that emissions from oil and gas have caused a gradual rise in temperatures globally. Rising temperatures, in turn, have led to a dangerous increase in wildfires, droughts, and extreme weather events. 

“We’re in a national emergency, and we need to act like we’re in a national emergency,” Biden said as he signed the executive orders. “We’ve got to move with everything we’ve got, and we’ve got to do it together.” 

What are young people hoping for in a Biden presidency? I asked students in my home state of California. The state, which has a population of more than 39.5 million, voted overwhelmingly for Biden in the presidential election. Vice President Kamala Harris was representing California in the U.S. Senate when Biden asked her to be his running mate on the Democratic ticket. 

Here are the students’ responses:   

Lucas W., 13, of Los Altos

I’m hoping that Biden can undo a lot of Trump’s policies since they have hurt America, not helped it. Trump didn’t take COVID seriously, and that’s one big thing Biden needs to deal with.

I think Biden will do great because he has a lot of experience in politics and knows what he’s doing. I hope that he will continue his proactive response to the issues we’re dealing with.

Jannat S., 12, of Stockton

Trump was definitely not your normal president, but I think he changed politics. I valued how he always spoke his mind and made clear where he stood on issues.

I think Biden will be a good president, but I think President Trump made many positive changes that have affected our country. I hope Biden will continue most of his important work.


Munveer interviews students in California about Biden’s presidency. 

Devon T., 12, of Belmont

I’m happy to see Biden because Trump wasn’t very effective. I hope that Biden can get COVID-19 under control, unlike Trump who didn’t take it seriously. I hope he makes sure to get bipartisan support. 

I think Biden will be a great president since he has already taken action against many of the issues we’re dealing with, like COVID-19 and climate change. I’m concerned about how he is going to get the money for all of his proposals.

Kieran V, 13, of Palo Alto

Biden will be a good president. I feel really happy about his victory since Trump hurt both legal and illegal immigration and hurt America’s reputation. I hope Biden can counter Trump’s anti-immigration policies since I believe they’re hurting the country.

Biden has already signed executive orders which have done a lot of good, like joining the Paris climate agreement, suspending the Keystone Pipeline, and instituting a mask mandate. I hope that he will take COVID-19 more seriously than President Trump did.






Top photo: Gage Skidmore; bottom photo courtesy of the author