Even as President Trump cries foul, and a small number of votes continue to be counted in different parts of the US, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are forging ahead at full steam. While the Democrats will not be appointed to their new posts for some time, a new verified Twitter handle was formed less than a day earlier. This is the official account of the Biden-Harris presidential transition, and outlines the new leaders' intent to lead from the first moment on.
"We are preparing to lead on Day One, ensuring the Biden-Harris administration is able to take on the most urgent challenges we face: protecting and preserving our nation's health, renewing our opportunity to succeed, advancing racial equity, and fighting the climate crisis," the site adds.
The 'Build Back Better' website outlines plans of action for four administration priorities, namely COVID-19, economic recovery, climate change and racial equity.
As the US becomes the first nation to record 10 million cases, the Biden-Harris plan to deal with COVID-19 while "listening to science" assumes greater significance. The seven point plan outlined on the website includes details such as making the wearing of masks mandatory, ensuring that all Americans have access to regular, reliable, and free testing, and increasing the availability of precautionary medical equipment such as PPEs. It also announced the Democrats' intent to "invest $25 billion in a vaccine manufacturing and distribution plan that will guarantee it gets to every American, cost-free".
The Biden-Harris administration will also look to undo some of the actions and decisions undertaken by President Trump, such as restoring the "White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense" and repairing the US' relationship with the World Health Organization.
Millions have lost jobs, hours, pay, health care, or small businesses that they started, through no fault of their own amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, financial woes do not begin or end with the coronavirus. As such, Biden plans to turn the crisis around to "build a new American economy for our families and the next generation". According to the plan outlined on the website, Biden plans to create create millions of good-paying jobs, once the pandemic has been wrested under control.
Alongside, the website announces that Biden will also take several steps to provide immediate relief.
The Biden-Harris economic recovery plan also announces several points centered around uplifting Americans. Efforts, the website said, would be made to:
1. Mobilize American manufacturing and innovation to ensure that the future is made in America, and in all of America
2. Mobilize American ingenuity to build a modern infrastructure and an equitable, clean energy future.
3. Mobilize American talent and heart to build a 21st century caregiving and education workforce.
4. Mobilize across the board to advance racial equity in America.
Systemic racism is a problem that has been highlighted repeatedly in America this year, reaching a zenith amid the Black Lives Matter movement. It must be noted that many have rallied behind Kamala Harris, noting that she is not only the first woman to hold the VP position, but that she will also be the first person of colour to be appointed to the same. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit Black and Brown communities especially hard, with Black, Latino, and Native American unemployment at higher levels, and businesses owned by Black, Latino, and Asian American people closing down at alarming rates.
Keeping the current situation in mind, the Democrats have announced a multi-point plan of action to remove barriers and 'build back better'.
One of the areas where the newly elected Democrats seem to vary from their predecessors is their perception of climate change and the threat it presents. From re-committing the United States to the Paris Agreement on climate change to " launch a national effort aimed at creating the jobs we need to build modern, sustainable infrastructure now and deliver an equitable clean energy future" - the President-elect and his team have many ideas that they have outlined online.