“We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again. … We will lead not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example.”– President Joe Biden, Jan. 20, 2021
The newly inaugurated President, Joe Biden, is quickly taking steps to reverse key Trump administration policies, which will once again strengthen ties between the United States and the rest of the international community. Among these, reversing the decision to withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO) amidst the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, rejoining the Paris climate accords, rescinding the so-called “Muslim ban” that banned travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the US, and repealing the global “gag rule” on abortion in US foreign aid.
Just hours after his inauguration at the US Capitol on Wednesday, Biden issued a string of directives and executive actions reversing a number of his predecessor Donald Trump’s policies. Biden’s orders focused on the pandemic response, reversing the previous administration’s environmental agenda, reversing their immigration policies, bolstering the economic recovery, and restoring federal efforts to promote diversity.
On Monday, President Biden also reinstated travel restrictions to combat coronavirus infections, via a presidential proclamation. The restrictions, which were in place for most of 2020, apply to non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil, Ireland, the United Kingdom, much of Europe, and now South Africa. Biden has also sought to require international travelers to quarantine upon arrival in the US.
This week’s Current Event resources allow you to explore and promote meaningful discussion with your students about US engagement with the international community and its implications for the future.
- What is the Biden administration’s approach to international cooperation and diplomacy? How does that differ from the Trump administration’s approach?
- Which policies are changing and how?
- How will Biden administration policies affect our engagement with the international community?
- What does the change of direction signify in terms of the position of the United States within the international community?
Biden’s fast start with executive orders, Washington Post
Biden’s Foreign Policy Reset — Bigger Than Five
Biden Looks TO Begin Climate Policy with Executive Orders, NBC News
Biden implements COVID-19 travel restrictions on first full day in office, CBS: the National
Audio & Podcasts:
How Europeans see Biden’s America (25 min)
- Biden signs orders to end ‘Muslim ban’, rejoin climate deal, WHO, Aljazeera, 1-21-21.
- The 17 Things Joe Biden did on Day One, Politico, 1-21-21.
Joe Biden Repeals Donald Trump’s Anti-Abortion ‘Global Gag Rule’, Huffington Post, 1-28-21.
World leaders welcome Biden with praise, pleas, and parting shots at Trump, CNN News, 1-20-21.
Biden faces the world: 5 foreign policy experts explain US priorities – and problems – after Trump, The Conversation, 1-27-21.
Biden must set firm conditions for re-engaging with the WHO, The Hill, 12-7-20.
- Joe Biden axes ‘global gag rule’ but health groups call on him to go further, The Guardian, 1-28-21.
Biden, Diplomacy and the U.S. Place in the World, Bloomberg, 1-23-21.
Beware entanglements? ‘Realists’ fret over Biden foreign policy, Christian Science Monitor, 1-12-21.
Resources for using Political Cartoons in the Classroom:
- Cartoons for the Classroom– Understanding Political Cartoons
- How To Analyze a Political Cartoon
- Political Cartoon Analysis
- US Department of State
Fact Sheet: President Biden’s New Executive Actions — The White House
- Conflict and Cooperation — iCivics, middle school resource
- Diplomacy – iCivics, middle school resource
- US Diplomacy: Key Policies — PBS Learning Media, grades 6-12
- Discover Diplomacy Explorer — PBS Learning Media, grades 6-12
Lesson Plans regarding Media & News Literacy (general):
Media Literacy Resources – Newseum
News & Media Literacy Lessons – Common Sense
Media Misinformation, Viral Deception, and “Fake News” – University of Wyoming
Evaluating Sources in a ‘Post-Truth’ World: Ideas for Teaching and Learning About Fake News – New York Times Lessons