More than a month ago, on his first day as president of the United States, Joe Biden signed 17 executive orders on a range of things, from the economy and novel coronavirus prevention and control measures to the environment and ethnic and migration issues, many of which reversed his predecessor's orders.
The signing marks the beginning of the Biden administration's efforts to clear the mess that the Donald Trump administration was hellbent on creating. By undoing that, the Biden administration is trying to tell the U.S. people and to the international community that "America is back".
It is good to see the Biden administration providing novel coronavirus vaccines to U.S. citizens, setting up a cross-department work group to resolve the illegal immigrant issue and announcing that the U.S. is re-entering the Paris Agreement on climate change and the World Health Organization.
These moves can also help the Biden administration win back the U.S. allies' trust and mend ties with other countries, showing that the country can now be a predictable and reliable partner. However, resolving the practical problems, such as the novel coronavirus pandemic, the widening income gap and the ethnic and immigration issues would prove much more difficult than invalidating the former president's executive orders.
In other words, what the U.S. people and the international community seek from the Biden administration is not just a brave statement such as "America is back", but the comeback of a capable government to lead the country out of the current quagmire.
To some extent, the Biden administration has acted on expected lines in the first month of its tenure. However, more real challenges await it on the road ahead. It will not be that easy to liquidate all negative assets left behind by the Trump administration, as many crevices in the U.S. society, politics and economy cannot be filled by simply scrapping some policies on paper.
Being a veteran politician, Biden has shown his ability to stabilize the situation in a short time. It is now time for him to prove that he has the power of execution to steer the country through storms on various fronts. It is time to heal, and also time to build.