by Elpidio R. Estioko
Due to the divided and self-centered rule of former President Donald Trump in managing the country for the past four years, he created a fractured government and left a heavy mess to incoming President Joe Biden, the 46th president of the United States of America.
With this, Biden is left with an era of hope, reconciliation, and unity in order to fix and heal the country, especially during his first 100 days in office.
But, just like the 911 spiel and television ad in response to emergency situations, President Biden assured the American people that the war against the dreaded COVID-19 is on and help is on the way!
This is his priority which will serve as the solid base in setting up the economy back because efforts to arrest the pandemic goes hand in hand with economic measures, especially for those businesses and individuals affected by COVID-19.
Immediately after his inauguration last January 20 as the 46th US president, Biden signed a dozen of “wartime” executive orders to combat the pandemic, which includes setting up mass-vaccination centers, the involvement of drugstores and an accelerated manufacturing program.
Pursuant to this, Biden also signed an executive order protecting the federal workforce by requiring mask-wearing within federal buildings in order to halt the spread of the virus. He noted that masks and other public health measures reduce the spread of the disease, particularly when the communities make widespread use of such measures and thus save lives. Other than the vaccine, wearing a mask is the last bastion of defense for the American people, I would say.
To add muscle to the program, he directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the director of Centers for disease control, “to engage with State, local, Tribal and territorial officials, as well as business, union, academic, and other community leaders, regarding mask-wearing, with the goal of maximizing public compliance with, and addressing any obstacles to, mask-wearing and other public health best practices identified by CDC.”
These federally guided collaboration efforts contribute to the united front to address the pandemic in order to eradicate the virus which has been plaguing the country for almost a year now.
After the January 6 riot in the Capitol induced by now former President Donald Trump, 38 police officers tested positive of COVID-19, the union representing the Capitol Police told CNN Sunday.
While unclear how many of the 38 officers may have been on duty during the attack or when they contracted the virus, the mass of largely unmasked people who were shouting and pushing, would result in the spread of the virus, not only among police officers but to those rioters who participated without wearing face coverings, according to the Health officials. The insurrection resulted to five deaths, one of whom was a police officer.
Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield said in an interview earlier this month with the McClatchy newspaper group: “I do think you have to anticipate that this is another surge event. You had largely unmasked individuals in a non-distanced fashion, who were all through the Capitol.”
Several lawmakers were also tested positive in the wake of the attack, with some Democrats saying they were tested positive after sheltering in place with other members of Congress who were not wearing masks.Bottom of Form
In his inaugural speech on January 20 initially projected with 200,000 guests but was scaled to about 1,000 due to the virus situation, Biden said: “Today we celebrate with a cause…, but the cause for democracy. Democracy has prevailed… we come as one nation under God to pave the transition of power… we have much to do, much to repair, much to restore, much to fix, much to heal… much to gain.”
He put his soul in the cry for unity as what former President Abraham Lincoln did bringing Americans together during his administration.
Biden’s 22-minute speech was interrupted 20 times applauding his vision to become the president for all Americans. “I understand there’s a lot of problems… but we can do this if we can open our souls and if just for a moment stand as one. My fellow Americans, we are going to need each other to persevere, put aside politics and act as one nation. We will get through this together… we will not only lead by example but by the power of our example.”
As I See It, his administration is the era of hope, reconciliation and unity.
I also would like to praise him when, towards the end of his speech, he requested for a silent prayer in honor of close to 400,000 Americans who lost their lives from COVID-19 and for those they left behind.
Biden said: “I give you my word… that I will defend the constitution and would defend America and together we shall hope not to fear, love not hate and answer the call of history with purpose and resolve.”
He ended his speech by saying: “Thank you America and may God bless our troops!” The inaugural speech of Biden was short but full of hope and meaning to the American people.
Some of those who attended Biden’s inauguration showing bipartisanship include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Former Vice President Dan Quayle; Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts who administered the oath of office to Biden who was with his wife Dr. Jill Biden; Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor who administered the oath of office to Vice President Kamara Harris, 1st woman vice president and 1st black vice president who was with her husband 2nd Gentleman Douglas Craig Emhoff, an American lawyer; Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Sue Pence, an American schoolteacher and painter; 43rd President George Bush and wife Laura Bush; 44th president Barack Obama and wife Michelle Obama; and former president Bill Clinton and wife Hilary Clinton.
It was a well-orchestrated inauguration celebration with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, vice-chair of the inaugural committee, as emcee; Lady Gaga singing the national anthem accompanied by the Marine Band; Jennifer Lopez singing “This Land is Your Land”; National Anthem by the Armed Forces Color Guards and Fire Captain Andrea Hall from Georgia leading the pledge of allegiance; opening prayer by Rev. Fr. Jeremiah Donnovan; Amazing Grace by Garth Brooks; youngest American poet Amanda Gorman reciting her moving poem that caught national attention; and the Benediction by Rev. Sylvester Beaman.
The era of hope and unity has just begun!
Reciting a verse in the American Anthem, Biden penultimately ended his speech by saying: “America, America, I give my best to you!”
ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author @ firstname.lastname@example.org.