Biden: 56 Days of a Hedgehog

During the campaign, Joe Biden’s opponent nicknamed him “Sleepy Joe.” Donald Trump made fun of his stuttering, and after Biden turned 78, said that he was very old. It wasn’t easy for Biden to make it to the White House. He took office on Jan. 20 and shockingly began to confirm what the Greek poet Archilochus wrote: “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” Biden, being a “good hedgehog,” goes all out in his politics! It’s not for nothing that he has a bust of Robert Kennedy in the Oval Office, whose phrase “we can do better” has accompanied Biden since the start of his term 56 days ago.

In U.S. politics, since the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the first 100 days in office hold presidents especially accountable and tend to set the course for the rest of their term. Within that number of days, FDR paved the way out of an unparalleled crisis — like the present one — with what eventually came to be known as the New Deal. FDR was more of a fox. Biden, in contrast, is working step by step toward the firm goal of deflating his predecessor’s bloated exercise of power. In the U.S., there is respect for the self-reflection initiated by the former vice president within his own country and at the international level.

From day one, Biden has issued executive orders to reverse those signed in a heated fervor by Trump. For example, he restored the National Security Council’s Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, which wasn’t utilized during the previous presidency because Trump “knew everything” about scientific matters. Biden didn’t make a single decision regarding the COVID-19 pandemic without the consent of this group of experts. He reversed the decision not to wear face masks or respect social distancing. But more than that: He rejoined the World Health Organization, making contributions and showing respect for the multilateral organization’s mandates. The WHO belongs to the United Nations, which Trump hoped to defund.

In addition to these governmental guidelines, Biden put together an aid package for the American people to resolve the crisis in an orderly fashion. He increased the minimum wage for the unemployed, [federal] contractors and public officials to $15 per hour.* He got Congress to immediately approve financial support of more than $1.9 trillion to households impacted by COVID-19 in order to energize the economy.

On the international front, his message is clearly to reformulate the multilateral policy neglected by the tenant of the White House during the last four years: Biden appointed John Kerry — the powerful former senator, presidential candidate and secretary [of state] — as his special envoy for full U.S. entry into the Paris Agreement on climate change. In other words, one of the countries that has produced the most carbon dioxide and is a fundamental reason for climate change is beginning to accept and become part of the solution to the problem Bill Gates defines in his book, “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakdowns We Need.”

Last week, he extended work permits for the Venezuelan diaspora within the United States, to those forced to emigrate from the disastrous and illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro and his cronies. This action, coupled with the decision of President Iván Duque Márquez to grant temporary status for 10 years to more than 1.7 million Venezuelans who left as a matter of survival, does not entirely resolve the migrants’ situation. It does, however, contribute in an important way toward understanding and assisting those who have been living in Colombia or in the United States for many years.

*Editor’s Note: This sentence, although accurately translated, does not clearly represent current facts. Despite Biden’s wishes and attempts by Democrats for change, the U.S. minimum wage for employment remains at $7.25 per hour. Federal unemployment insurance is currently set for the same amount. The wage for federal contract workers, as of Jan. 1, 2021, is $10.95 per hour.

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