(CNN) — President-elect Joe Biden plans to take 17 executive actions during his first hours in office Wednesday, moving faster and more aggressively to dismantle his predecessor’s legacy than any other modern president.
Biden will sign a flurry of executive orders, memoranda and directives to agencies, making his first moves to address the coronavirus pandemic and undo some of Donald Trump’s signature policies.
With the stroke of a pen, he’ll halt construction of Trump’s border wall, reverse his travel ban targeting largely Muslim countries, and embrace progressive policies on the environment and diversity that Trump spent four years blocking.
Biden also plans to reverse several of Trump’s attempts to withdraw from international agreements, rejoining the Paris climate accord and halting the United States’ departure from the World Health Organization — where Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, will lead the US delegation.
His first action will be to impose a mask mandate on federal property, a break in approach to dealing with the pandemic from Trump, who repeatedly downplayed the virus. He will also install a coronavirus response coordinator to oversee the Biden White House’s efforts to distribute vaccines and medical supplies.
Biden will sign the executive orders and memoranda in the Oval Office on Wednesday afternoon, his incoming press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.
Psaki and other top Biden officials said the first-day actions are only part of what will be a series of moves to undo Trump policies and implement Biden’s campaign promises in his first weeks in office.
He plans to follow Inauguration Day by centering each day of January around a specific theme, according to a draft of a calendar document sent to administration allies and viewed by CNN.
Thursday, Biden’s first full day in office, will be focused on the coronavirus pandemic, and Friday will highlight Biden’s push for economic relief — including executive orders restoring federal employees’ collective bargaining rights and directing agency action on safety net programs, including Medicaid and unemployment insurance.
The themes next week will be “Buy American,” with a Monday executive order beefing up requirements for government purchases of goods and services from US companies; equity on Tuesday, coupled with a push to eliminate private prisons; climate on Wednesday with an executive order kicking off regulatory actions reestablishing the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and combating climate change; health care on Thursday, a day on which Biden will rescind the so-called Mexico City Policy blocking federal funding for non-governmental organizations that provide abortion services; and immigration on Friday, when Biden plans to sign executive orders focused on border processing and refugee policies and establish a family refunification task force.
February will focus on what’s identified in the calendar document as “restoring America’s place in the world.”
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