The New York Times reported on Thursday, that the new US President, Joe Biden, has already begun the process of removing Trump supporters from most positions of responsibility and in all departments, as he appointed nearly a thousand officials at the highest levels in about a quarter All political positions available for appointment to the federal government.
When President Biden listened to members of his new administration team while he was sworn in, at a videoconference ceremony last weekend, it seemed like the largest Zoom talk in the nation’s history, the same report says.
Indeed, there has been a less visible transition process taking place behind the scenes: the quiet dismissal of those who have held office since the previous Trump administration and who have been required to vacate their offices immediately, regardless of the ultimate legal consequences.
If there is one distinguishing feature of the first week in the Biden administration, it is the accelerating pace with which the new president made his mark on what Donald Trump described as the hostile “deep state” and tried to dismantle it.
Biden’s team arrived in Washington with plans for each ministry and government agency, as well as tables containing the names of all those responsible for their implementation, starting with the Pentagon where there were about 20 senior officials ready to begin their duties days before the Senate confirmed Lloyd Austin would assume the post of Defense Secretary.
All the way to Voice of America, where the leadership that Trump appointed was replaced hours before the inauguration.
So much so, that they prepared a replacement for the President’s physician, Sean Connelly, who admitted providing a pink medical description of the symptoms of Covid-19 that appeared on Trump stating that it was not dangerous, and he was asked to pack his medical baggage in preparation for the departure.
With each president eventually attending his physician, Biden wasted little time before reinstating retired Colonel Kevin O’Connor, who was the president’s physician when Biden took over as vice president.
Biden had chosen almost all of his cabinet ministers and their direct deputies before taking office on Wednesday January 20, and most of them are familiar faces from the Obama administration, but the president’s true familiarity with levels of power was evident in the lower levels of government.
At the National Security Council, the White House said that Biden “nearly doubled the number of staff ready to begin work compared to Trump in 2017 and Obama in 2009”.
The White House did not provide specific numbers, but said in his statement that they reflected “the urgent need to build – or rebuild – capacity.
The country is in areas such as climate, cybersecurity, global health, security and biodefense, and democracy from the ground up”.
The new hires will find that their work has already been defined.
“In terms of appointments for a new president, Biden faces a much tougher task than Trump’s,” said Michael Picklos, the presidential historian who has written about the many transfers of power.
Rebuilding the government is a much more difficult process than plundering it, thwarting it, and emptying it of any value.
Biden’s team was not satisfied with the appointment, and the matter reached an uprooting of Trump’s roots, as the tone of the speech was determined before Biden himself took the oath.
On the Saturday evening prior to the inauguration of January 16, Michael Ellis, loyal to Trump, was appointed as a general adviser to the National Security Agency based on an order Who’s the Acting Secretary of Defense in the Trump administration.
It was a classic attempt to break through the bureaucracy with a political appointment in a new non-political job classification, which made it more difficult to fire the appointed person.
But once Biden took office, Mr. Ellis was immediately granted administrative leave, while a National Security Agency investigator investigated the circumstances of his choice of the position, and it is now unclear whether Ellis will ever take the job.
The Trump administration made a similar attempt to penetrate the US Agency for Global Media, which broadcasts to various parts of the world, but it also ended with a similar result.
Some officials were immediately fired, as Trump’s team told Victoria Coates, the former Trump national security official who was appointed head of Middle East Broadcasting Networks in the last days of the administration, that he does not care about the clause in her contract which stipulates that she should serve for at least two years and that she does She may be dismissed unless convicted of a felony.
Her official e-mail account was suspended last weekend, in what she described as a “shocking denial of President Biden’s call for unity and reconciliation”.
There is a Biden team now in every ministry, and this includes the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which for the past four years has been run by the absentee minister present, between Carson and a group of ideologically oriented appointees.
The Biden team’s first and foremost pick for this cabinet was Jane Jones, senior political advisor to Julian Castro, the last Obama-era housing and urban development minister.
At the Department of Health and Human Services, which Trump has largely ignored, at least 18 political appointees have assumed their new positions, but they represent only a small percentage of the department that is typically run by more than 100 people.
But an ally or two in each ministry could change course decisively.
A good example of this is Dr. Benjamin Summers, a health economist at Harvard University.
He assumed a senior position in the department’s research division, which was seized by Trump by political appointees who distorted reports, web pages and planning documents, removed references to the US health care law (ObamaCare) and added anti-abortion terminology.
Then comes the role of the Department of Homeland Security, as Biden’s candidate to run the department has been suspended due to the political ramifications of the president’s attempts to cancel immigration restrictions imposed by Trump.
In the Department of Justice, where morale has fallen considerably, and Biden administration officials are looking to start canceling Trump’s policies on civil rights, immigration, and police oversight, all of the next senior officials in the department are veterans who have served in various administrations.
As much as the politicization of the Justice Department angered Trump’s critics, the EPA’s neutrality angered progressives as well, and it’s no surprise that the agency is already on the cusp of transformation as well.
A week before the inauguration, the Trump water bureau official, Charlotte Bertrand, emerged as the woman who would take over as the caretaker president should the agency’s chief resign.
When the moment came, she was unable to reach the position.
Hours after taking office, Biden announced the appointment of Jane Nishida, the agency’s deputy assistant chief for the Bureau of International and Tribal Affairs, to lead the agency until approval of Michael Reagan’s appointment to the position was approved.