When President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris take office in January, they will face a list of extraordinary challenges.
The coronavirus pandemic and America's response to it will loom large. The same week our country voted for president, there were record numbers of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise. Vaccines are being developed and could be ready for widespread distribution next year.
There is also the financial and jobs concerns in the wake of the pandemic. Many are hoping conversations about economic relief can start up again now that results of the election are becoming clear.
The jobs report from October shows unemployment is at 6.9 percent. However, this is still historically high and there are concerns it does not include people who have given up looking for work during a pandemic for various reasons.
Racism and social justice issues divided the country earlier this year, leading to large demonstrations in dozens of cities. Strong emotions from both sides motivated some voters.
Biden has said he also wants to focus on rejoining international organizations, including the World Health Organization, NATO, and the Paris Climate Accord.
Biden has also signaled other top priorities in his first few months; including sending a bill to Congress to repeal liability protections for gun manufacturers and closing background-check loopholes, sending an immigration bill to Congress creating a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants and retaining rights for “dreamers” who were brought to the United States illegally as children, and move to eliminate tax cuts passed under Trump in 2017, according to the Washington Post.
In speeches, Biden has also said he wants to address systemic racism, homelessness, and restore transgender students' access to sports, bathrooms and locker rooms.