President-elect Joe Biden is planning to quickly sign a series of executive orders after being sworn into office on Jan. 20, immediately forecasting that the country’s politics have shifted and that his presidency will be guided by radically different priorities.

Follow the latest on Election 2020  He will rejoin the Paris climate accords, according to those close to his campaign and commitments he has made in recent months, and he will reverse President Trump’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization. He will repeal the ban on almost all travel from some Muslim-majority countries, and he will reinstate the program allowing “dreamers,” who were brought to the United States illegally as children, to remain in the country, according to people familiar with his plans.

Although transitions of power can always include abrupt changes, the shift from Trump to Biden — from one president who sought to undermine established norms and institutions to another who has vowed to restore the established order — will be among the most startling in American history.

Biden’s top advisers have spent months quietly working on how best to implement his agenda, with hundreds of transition officials preparing to get to work inside various federal agencies. They have assembled a book filled with his campaign commitments to help guide their early decisions.

Biden is planning to set up a coronavirus task force on Monday, in recognition that the global pandemic will be the primary issue that he must confront. The task force, which could begin meeting within days, will be co-chaired by former surgeon general Vivek H. Murthy and David Kessler, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner.

The coronavirus response has been foremost on Biden’s mind, and it is seen inside his campaign as a chief reason for his victory. He has previously said that even before the inauguration he would reach out to Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s top infectious-disease expert, asking him for advice.

Biden also wants to quickly appoint a supply commander to oversee production and distribution of testing — and, when ready, vaccines — as well as materials such as masks and gowns.

There has also been a recognition of those around him that he may have to lean more on executive actions than he had once hoped. He can reorient various federal agencies and regulations, and he can adopt a different posture on the world stage.

Without congressional cooperation, however, Biden has said that he plans to immediately reverse Trump’s rollback of 100 public health and environmental rules that the Obama administration had in place.

He would also institute new ethics guidelines at the White House, and he has pledged to sign an executive order the first day in office saying that no member of his administration could influence any Justice Department investigations.

Biden has long pledged to rejoin the Paris climate accords by executive order, but he has also said that he would attempt to persuade other nations to adopt higher standards in an attempt to curb the impacts of climate change.

Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.), a longtime Biden ally who holds the seat Biden had for 36 years, offered a broad overview of Biden’s initial agenda: “Get us out of this pandemic that’s been made far worse by Trump’s bungled mishandling of it, rebuild our economy in a way that’s more sustainable and more inclusive, and deal with division and inequality.”

Much of Biden’s early agenda — including which pieces of legislation to prioritize — will be determined in the coming weeks as his transition team begins taking on a far more prominent role.

Biden’s transition effort is being overseen by Ted Kaufman, one of his closest advisers. Kaufman, who was appointed to replace Biden in the Senate when Biden became vice president in 2009, also helped co-write an update to the law governing the transition process, which was passed in 2015 and signed by President Barack Obama.

Biden’s transition team has been given government-issued computers and iPhones for conducting secure communications, and 10,000 square feet of office space in the Herbert C. Hoover Building in Washington, although most of the work is being done virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic. His advisers have been granted temporary security clearances and undergone FBI background checks to fast-track the processing of personnel who can receive briefings on intelligence.

But one important next step is for the head of the General Services Administration to rule that the election results are final, enabling Biden’s transition team to expand its work and gain access to government funds. Biden officials are prepared for legal action if that administrator — Emily W. Murphy, a Trump political appointee — delays that decision, according to officials familiar with the matter.

Trump has so far not conceded defeat, falsely claiming Saturday that he won the election.

Pamela Pennington, a GSA spokeswoman, said that Murphy would ascertain “the apparent successful candidate once a winner is clear based on the process laid out in the Constitution.” Until that decision is made, she said, the Biden transition team would continue to receive limited access to government resources.

Making a clear break from the Trump administration's adversarial posture toward the civil service is also a top priority for the Biden transition team.

The Trump administration's suspicion of career officials and early calls for them to “get with the program” or “go” created tensions with incoming political appointees that never dissipated. Biden officials are hoping to create a positive atmosphere by avoiding some of the terminology and labels they think contributed to the mistrust.

Biden’s top advisers have spent months quietly working on how best to implement his agenda, with hundreds of transition officials preparing to get to work inside various federal agencies. They have assembled a book filled with his campaign commitments to help guide their early decisions.



Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have a seven-point plan to beat COVID-19

 JO BIDEN OFFICIAL WEBSITE    How Biden will handle the pandemic


Fix Trump’s testing-and-tracing fiasco to ensure all Americans have access to regular, reliable, and free testing.

Double the number of drive-through testing sites.

Invest in next-generation testing, including at home tests and instant tests, so we can scale up our testing capacity by orders of magnitude.

Stand up a Pandemic Testing Board like Roosevelt’s War Production Board. It’s how we produced tanks, planes, uniforms, and supplies in record time, and it’s how we can produce and distribute tens of millions of tests.

Establish a U.S. Public Health Jobs Corps to mobilize at least 100,000 Americans across the country with support from trusted local organizations in communities most at risk to perform culturally competent approaches to contact tracing and protecting at-risk populations.


Fix personal protective equipment (PPE) problems for good.

Joe Biden will take responsibility, rather than leave states, cities, tribes, and territories to fend for themselves, and focus on producing more of these critical supplies in the United States. He will:

Fully use the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of masks, face shields, and other PPE so that the national supply of personal protective equipment exceeds demand and our stores and stockpiles — especially in hard-hit areas that serve disproportionately vulnerable populations — are fully replenished.

Build now toward a future, flexible American-sourced and manufactured capability to ensure we are not dependent on other countries in a  crisis.


Provide clear, consistent, evidence-based national guidance for how communities should navigate the pandemic — and the resources for schools, small businesses, and families to make it through.

Social distancing is not a light switch. It is a dial. Joe Biden will direct the CDC to provide specific evidence-based guidance for how to turn the dial up or down relative to the level of risk and degree of viral spread in a community, including when to open or close certain businesses, bars, restaurants, and other spaces; when to open or close schools, and what steps they need to take to make classrooms and facilities safe; appropriate restrictions on size of gatherings; when to issue stay-at-home restrictions.

Establish a renewable fund for state and local governments to help prevent budget shortfalls, which may cause states to face steep cuts to teachers and first responders.

Call on Congress to pass an emergency package to ensure schools have the additional resources they need to adapt effectively to COVID-19.

Provide a “restart package” that helps small businesses cover the costs of operating safely, including things like plexiglass and PPE.


Plan for the effective, equitable distribution of treatments and vaccines because discovering isn’t enough if they get distributed like Trump’s testing and PPE fiascos.

Invest $25 billion in a vaccine manufacturing and distribution plan that will guarantee it gets to every American, cost-free.

As we enter the height of the political season, politics should play no role in determining the safety and efficacy of any vaccine. The following 3 principles should guide us: Put scientists in charge of all decisions on safety and efficacy; publicly release clinical data for any vaccine the FDA approves; authorize career staff to write a written report for public review and permit them to appear before Congress and speak publicly uncensored.

Ensure everyone — not just the wealthy and well-connected — in America receives the protection and care they deserve, and consumers are not price gouged as new drugs and therapies come to market.


Protect Older Americans and Others at High Risk.

Joe Biden understands that Trump’s failed response has made older Americans and others at high-risk even more vulnerable.

Establish a COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force, as proposed by Senator Harris, to provide recommendations and oversight on disparities in the public health and economic response. At the end of this health crisis, it will transition to a permanent Infectious Disease Racial Disparities Task Force.

Create the Nationwide Pandemic Dashboard that Americans can check in real-time to help them gauge whether local transmission is actively occurring in their zip codes. This information is critical to helping all individuals, but especially older Americans and others at high risk, understand what level of precaution to take.

Read Joe Biden’s previously released Plan for Older Americans, Plan for Supporting People with Disabilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic, and Fact Sheet on How Joe Biden Would Help You Get Health Insurance Coverage During The COVID-19 Crisis.


Rebuild and expand the defenses that Trump has dismantled to predict, prevent, and mitigate pandemic threats, including those coming from China.

Immediately restore the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, which was established by the Obama-Biden Administration and eliminated by the Trump Administration in 2018.

Immediately restore our relationship with the World Health Organization, which — while not perfect — is essential to coordinating a global response during a pandemic.

Re-launch and strengthen U.S. Agency for International Development’s pathogen-tracking program called PREDICT, which Donald Trump cut.

Expand the number of CDC’s deployed disease detectives so we have eyes and ears on the ground, including rebuilding the office in Beijing, which shrunk dramatically under Trump.


Implement mask mandates nationwide by working with governors and mayors and by asking the American people to do what they do best: step up in a time of crisis.

Experts say that if 95% of Americans wear masks between now and December, we can save almost 70,000 lives. Joe has called on:

Every American to wear a mask when they are around people outside their household

Every Governor to make that mandatory in their state

Local authorities to also make it mandatory to buttress their state orders