January 23, 2021
Biden Admits “There’s Nothing We Can Do.”
In remarks Friday, President Joe Biden said, “There’s nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months,” a notable contrast with his signature campaign promise to end the pandemic.
Biden then signed an executive order directing agencies to consider, in general, “actions they can take within existing authorities to address the current economic crisis resulting from the pandemic,” and an unrelated order on protecting the federal workforce and promoting a $15.00 minimum wage for federal employees.
On October 22, 2020, Biden criticized the former President for not taking personal responsibility for pandemic deaths. “Anyone who’s responsible for not taking control… should not remain as President of the United States of America,” Biden said. “Folks, I will take care of this, I will end this, I will make sure we have a plan.”
The Associated Press characterized Biden’s language on Day Two of his presidency as “a proven political strategy: Underpromise and overdeliver.”
Heads Roll at U.S. Agency for Global Media.
Biden is “cleaning house”—or refilling the swamp—at the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which houses Voice of America (VOA), firing three more Trump appointees late Friday.
After the White House fired Trump USAGM chief Michael Pack on Wednesday, newly-installed interim chief Kelu Chao in turn fired Middle East Broadcasting Network director Victoria Coates, Radio Free Asia chief Stephen Yates and Radio Free Europe head Ted Lipien—all Pack hires.
“VOA too often speaks for America’s adversaries—not its citizens,” the Trump White House charged in a statement in April. “Journalists should report the facts, but VOA has instead amplified Beijing’s propaganda.”
The Biden-Harris White House Reinforces Pro-Abortion Priorities.
In a statement marking the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris wrote that “reproductive health, including the right to choose, has been under relentless and extreme attack” under Trump—who was the first President to deliver remarks to the March for Life.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to codifying Roe v. Wade and appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe.”
Biden Actions on Trade Anger Canada.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canadian trade officials aren’t happy about the cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau spoke Friday, and Biden “acknowledged Prime Minister Trudeau’s disappointment regarding the decision to rescind the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline,” per the readout.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called Biden’s decision an “insult directed at the United States’ most important ally and trading partner on day one of a new administration.”
From The Washington Post:
Even with vaccine shortages and bottlenecks in delivery, the pace needed to meet the new administration’s [vaccine] goal — 1 million doses administered per day — was already achieved Friday and four other days of the previous eight, according to Washington Post data. The accelerating speed of the program undercuts assertions by some Biden advisers that they were left no plan by the Trump administration and suggests they need only to keep their feet on the pedal to clear the bar they set for themselves.