Our View: An inauguration and a call to action

During his inauguration today, Joe Biden may not make a John F. Kennedy “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” proclamation. But he will be making a call to action for the country.

It’s a new day with high expectations from a new administration facing many challenges, the most pressing being COVID-19.

America continues to fight against a pandemic that has already claimed 400,000 U.S. lives in 10 months and interrupted a burgeoning economy. From practicing mask wearing to social distancing to getting vaccinated, we will have a responsibility in helping to end this pandemic.

Last week, Biden unveiled his $1.9-trillion emergency relief plan to fight the coronavirus with increased testing, vaccinating 100 million people in his first 100 days, getting students and teachers back to school, and giving families and businesses more direct federal aid.

We can expect an ambitious wave of executive orders from Biden later this week to set new policy on several issues from immigration, to climate change to the economy. But if the new president maintains his focus on the pandemic, as a country we will be in a much better position today and in the future.

Another Biden call-to-action will be a pledge of unity from Congress and the citizens of a divided nation (81 million Democratic votes for president vs. 74 million Republican votes).

“Unity is not some pie-in-the-sky dream,” Biden said last week. “It’s a practical step to get any of the things we have to get done as a country, get done together. I’m convinced we are ready to get this done. The very health of our nation is at stake.”

For our country to face our enormous challenges and get back to normal, we need to get past this pandemic. And we need to do this together, as one country.

This is our call to action.