The Weekly Pulse: Science and Health Take Center Stage Under Biden Administration; Abortion Under Attack

Following the inauguration of President Biden, many of the executive orders signed on his first days in office will have large impacts on national and global health. Many of the executive orders are aimed at addressing the coronavirus pandemic and ramping up vaccine distribution updates on the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, reproductive rights remain under attack—but the new administration offers hope to advocates.

Rep. Deb Haaland Makes History as Interior Secretary Nominee: “I’ll Be Fierce for All of Us”

In his newest round of Cabinet nominations, President-Elect Joe Biden tapped Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) as the first Indigenous secretary of the interior. Haaland, who currently serves as vice chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, would also be the first Native American to ever hold a secretary position in the Cabinet.

She spoke alongside fellow climate and energy appointees on Saturday, Dec. 19, promising to “be fierce for all of us, for our planet and all of our protective land.”

Trump Races to Weaken Environmental and Worker Protections, and Implement Other Last-Minute Policies, Before Jan. 20

The Trump administration is rushing to approve dozens of eleventh-hour policy changes. Among them: The Justice Department is fast-tracking a rule that could reintroduce firing squads and electrocutions to federal executions.

These final weeks are solidifying conservative policy objectives that will make it harder for the Biden administration to advance its own agenda.