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Biden rejoins WHO, Paris climate agreement on first day in office

President Joe Biden signed a swath of new executive orders on his first day as leader of the United States.

President Joe Biden had a full first day. He's shown here with First Lady Jill Biden.
Getty Images

Among the first actions the Biden administration undertook was rejoining the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, as well as reversing the United States' withdrawal from the World Health Organization and issuing a 100-day masking challenge. President Joe Biden signed the executive orders at around 5:30 p.m. ET, after his inauguration Wednesday morning. 

In a tweet on the POTUS account, Biden said Wednesday evening that the "got right to work taking action to control the pandemic, provide economic relief, tackle climate change [and] advance racial equity."

For the COVID-19 effort, Biden also signed orders for a mask mandate for federal buildings, federal land and some public transport. Dr. Fauci will serve as the US delegate at WHO meetings in future. There is a nationwide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, as well as Biden extending the pause on student loan payments and interest.

To help combat climate change, Biden signed executive orders to look into the "social cost" of greenhouse gases and oil pipelines, including cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline permit, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a press conference at around 7:00 p.m. ET Wednesday.

On racial equity, Biden also signed executive orders on rooting out systemic racism from federal institutions and programs; preserving and fortifying DACA; ending Trump's immigration ban against majority-Muslim nations; and halting further funding of the border wall construction. 

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in Wednesday.