President Joe Biden signs more than a dozen executive orders on first day in office

Orders concern masks, border wall, student loans and more

WASHINGTON, D.C. – One hundred days in office is the magic number used to determine a president’s political direction, but President Joe Biden got right to work on day one.

Biden signed a total of 17 executive orders during his first day in office. The orders include:

  • Requiring the use of a mask while on federal property
  • Pausing student loan payments until the end of September
  • Rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organization
  • Stopping construction on the United States-Mexico border wall
  • Canceling a travel ban to several majority-Muslim countries

Virginia Tech political professor Karen Hult said Biden signed a normal amount of first-day executive orders, and it’s common for presidents to immediately start on their core political goals.

“Time slips away so quickly from new presidents, especially as other problems start to mount, crises start to increase, and criticisms mount as well,” Hult said. “100 days is an artificial standard; it means get a fast start and hit the ground running.”

Hult said the orders show Biden’s priorities lie in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and repairing America’s global image.

“Starting today, they have a COVID-19 team in place to work across agency lines and reach into the state and local levels,” Hult said. “The Biden Administration is saying the United States is back, we want to restore our reputation, and we want to be seen again as an example.”

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