Joe Biden’s presidency is barely one week old and already he has issued a flurry of executive orders covering everything from immigration to minimum wage and food insecurity. He’s also once again killing the Keystone Pipeline (KXL) and rejoining the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Nobody denies the primary priorities of vaccination for COVID-19: almost universally, both governments across the world and civil society have joined hands to agree that front-line workers (who have been suffering and dying while caring for their populations) and the elderly, who are overwhelmingly at risk of death by COVID.
The United States has become the first country to condemn China for genocide over state persecution of the Uyghur people in the western Xinjiang province. In one of his final acts as Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, made the determination that the Chinese Communist Party has committed crimes against humanity,
Canada's top diplomat expressed 'grave concern' on behalf of the Canadian government concerning the ongoing human rights abuses against Uyghur ethnic and religious minorities in the Xinjiang region of northwest China.
With the inauguration just days away, media and the chattering classes are telling us massive change will be forthcoming. In some respects they are correct; after all, a new party and president will occupy the White House, the makeup of Congress is different and a new cabinet will be sworn in. In short, of course there will be policy changes with a new administration.
While no one will be upset to see 2020 draw to a close, uncertainty is likely to linger into 2021 as COVID-19 vaccine rollout and efficacy becomes the predominant focus of governments worldwide. For workers, businesses and families that just want life to return to the pre-pandemic normal, patience and hope will be required. Yet there is reason to be hopeful.