10 Columbia Faculty and Staff on What to Expect From the Biden-Harris Administration
As the dust settles following the historic inauguration of President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Jan. 20, the minds of Americans are naturally turning to the question: “What will the coming days, months, and years actually look like under the Biden-Harris administration?”
Luckily, Columbia faculty and staff have been pondering these questions and offer a roadmap of how the next four years might look. Below, find nine insights on what to expect going forward, grabbed straight from the headlines of major news organizations across the country.
Director, University Professor and Dr. Mathilde Krim-amfAR Chair of Global Health
The New York Times: “Biden Should Boost COVID Vaccine Supply With New Manufacturing Plan”
“Biden can solve the U.S. and worldwide vaccine shortages by using a strategy inspired by the one our country used to address the AIDS crisis. Mr. Biden can marshal the federal government’s resources to manufacture additional vaccine supplies and combine that move with vigorous efforts to boost distribution.”
Founder and Faculty Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
The Washington Post: “The Energy 202: What Merrick Garland as Attorney General Means for the Environment”
“As the Biden administration restores safeguards and cuts emissions, Garland also will make sure the Environmental Protection Agency and other offices dot their i's and cross their t's when shifting policies.”
Dwight Professor of Law, Columbia Law
Philadelphia Inquirer: “Reimagining the Presidency: 3 Constitutional Revisions That Might Bring America Back From the Brink”
“It isn’t enough, for example, to give Americans voting rights if the institutions they are voting for are themselves anti-democratic. Accordingly, our Constitution eliminates the indefensible Electoral College, replacing it with a national popular vote for president.”
Donald C. Waite III Professor of Social Enterprise Economics, Columbia Business School
Wall Street Journal: “What’s on Biden’s Business and Economic To-Do List”
“U.S. companies have massive investments in China, and China’s becoming more of a competitor world-wide. Sorting out an amicable functional relationship with China is enormously important to a lot of businesses. … When we look back on the Biden administration in 10 years’ time, I suspect how he dealt with China will be big.”
Associate Research Scholar, Obama Presidency Oral History Project
“In dissolving the 1776 Commission on his first day in office, President Biden helped end one source of misinformation about our past, a reminder that, as we work to restore democracy, we will need to restore honest inquiry and accurate history as well.”
George W. Ball Adjunct Professor, School of International and Public Affairs
“For the incoming Biden administration, the task ahead is formidable. The longer North Korea develops and modernizes its program, the more difficult it will be to end it. Some argue that the horse has left the barn and that what remains is to limit the problem.”
Executive Director, Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University
“President Biden can begin on day one by rescinding three executive orders that embodied President Trump’s authoritarian impulses: his order threatening social media platforms; his order barring businesses and individuals from conducting many kinds of diversity training; and his order imposing sanctions on staff of the International Criminal Court and American scholars and advocates who work with the court."
Dara Kass, MD
Associate Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
"We're going to see, I think, the president-elect … come out with innovative and, you know, really necessary improvements to our health-care system that will start to build the foundation … for a public option that's a stopgap for all Americans to have access to a public health program that fills their needs."
Manager, Roundtable on the Future of Justice Policy, Justice Lab
“Confronting racism must be part of Biden’s renewed commitment to justice. He could start here: a secretary of Racial Justice in the cabinet. This position would be responsible for coordinating actions to correct racial disparities across the administration.”
Irwin Redlener, MD
Senior Research Scholar and Director, Pandemic Resource and Response Initiative, National Center for Disaster Preparedness
“His national mask mandate on federal property is an 'appropriate and important national example of what needs to be done — and what he can do directly and immediately.'"