In his very first day, maybe no new U.S. president has ever faced such daunting challenges as Joe Biden would do when he takes the oath of office in January.
Following his victory after a bitter and heated campaign in Tuesday’s election, Mr. Biden will take the helm of a nation afflicted by complex issues, from growing cases of Covid-19 and a failing economy to climate change and a divided society.
And while much can change on Jan. 20 between election night and Inauguration Day, here are some of America’s primary challenges.
– The pandemic of Covid 19
Despite President Donald Trump’s assurances that the government is “getting its act together.” the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. is growing to a new high.
According to estimates collected by The New York Times, almost 10 million people have contracted the virus so far and over 230,000 have died.
2020 U.S. election: U.S. presidential election won by Joe Biden
Biden has pledged to listen to science and ensure that public health experts make decisions about public health, and he has vowed to restore trust and transparency.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the famous top infectious disease specialist Trump had threatened to fire after the election, may be his first act in office to rehire him.
– A conflict with the Supreme Court, which is conservative-leaning.
The death of respected Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her replacement by Amy Coney Barrett ensures that there is now a conservative majority of 6-3 in the nation’s highest court.
Despite a conservative 5-4 majority, the court has narrowly ruled in favor of same-sex marriage and upheld abortion rights in recent years.
But the current composition of the court could pose an issue for Democrat Biden, not least because if the outcome is challenged, Trump has vowed to take the election to the justices.
– Jobs and the economy
When it comes to the pandemic-ravaged economy, Biden will face a tough job of steering the ship.
Millions have lost their jobs and the unemployment rate is higher than during the 2007-09 Great Recession.
In the second quarter, the economy contracted by more than 30 percent, but has since rebounded sharply, according to estimates.
The former vice president has vowed to “rebuild better” and generate millions of jobs by hiring people to work to help battle the pandemic, including through a Job Corps for public health.
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– Change in Climate
In addition to taking on Covid and the economy, in the midst of increasingly urgent demands for climate change action, Biden is taking the top job.
The U.S. has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement under President Trump, causing international community criticism.
– Discord and calls for action on institutional racism in American society
U.S. culture has been deeply polarized over the past four years, and Biden called the election a fight for America’s soul.
There were mass demonstrations condemning racism in the country following George Floyd’s fatal police arrest.
Meanwhile, there has been a significant spike in far-right groups’ involvement.
– A trade agreement with Britain?
Deciding on a post-Brexit trade agreement with the UK is also on Biden’s to-do list.
Britain is ready to strike trade agreements with nations outside the EU as the end of the transition phase arrives on Dec. 31.
Biden has also tweeted that any trade agreement must be “conditional” on compliance with the Good Friday Agreement and on avoiding the return to Ireland of a hard border.
– Americas Global Understanding
In recent years, the U.S.’s global reputation has suffered and has taken a particularly big hit from its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
A 13-country Pew Research Centre study showed that, on average, only 15% of respondents felt that the U.S. did a decent job managing the outbreak.
The research also found that in the U.K., 41 percent of respondents In general, the U.S. has a favorable opinion, although just 31 percent in France have a positive view.