The new team of US President Joe Biden spent the first three days in the White House in almost empty offices looking for office supplies and requesting technological assistance, as well as trying to save the country from multiple crises.
On Wednesday, this team took charge of the most powerful, wealthy and innovative country in the world. But after a bad transition from the Donald Trump administration, current employees face some of the problems that anyone who moves into a new apartment can face.
The entire area underwent a meticulous cleaning process that cost, according to CNN, $ 500,000, while the Oval Office was refurbished.
Empty shelves and stripped-down walls do not add a warm atmosphere to the many desks occupied by spokeswoman Jane Psaki and her media team.
On her first day, Communications Planner Megan Hayes had to write on her cell phone because the computer was out of order. Another employee asked for pins for files, before he got busy searching in vain among office supplies in a large box.
Yet even if the Biden team did not have time to hang the pictures, they managed to change the scene in the White House.
And the first clear difference is that everyone wears a muzzle to prevent Covid-19. A picture of Biden placed on his desk on the first day, wearing a muzzle, confirms the features of the new era.
Trump barely put the muzzle on in public, fearing that it would suggest weakness. He certainly never used it in public in the Oval Office, so he always thought about what “presidents and heads of government, dictators, kings and queens” might think about it.
Covid-19 tests have also been tightened in another dramatic transformation in a building that became a hotbed of infections during the Trump era.
Among other measures, the number of journalists who are allowed to enter the White House has been reduced to only 80 per day, and in addition to wearing masks, they must undergo a rapid examination to detect any infection with the virus.
Priorities and changes
The tougher measures reflect Biden’s top priority, which is to stamp out an epidemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans and hit entire sectors of the economy.
To help him achieve this, Biden reinstated For the yard Famed infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who during Trump’s tenure has been banned from speaking openly.
Speaking of those moments Thursday, Fauci said that it “was not satisfactory because it was not based on scientific facts.”
Gone are the days when the president would come to the conference podium and suggest people should inject themselves with chlorine to prevent the virus, as Trump did during an out of the ordinary press conference last April.
Gone are the days when the president constantly interrupted experts or forbade them from saying what they wanted.
Besides the promise to speak out, the Biden administration is telling Americans to expect a quieter and more still environment.
The stormy tweets and insults against journalists will end on national television, and the insults will stop altogether.
Biden told his staff on the first day, “If you worked with me and heard that you were treating another colleague with disrespect, I promise I will fire you immediately.”
Psaki confirms this message with the return of the daily press holidays. For years, these conferences were part of the White House media system, and a kind of almost sacred tradition.
But during the Trump era, it almost stopped permanently, replaced by endless tweets from the president and hours of interviews on friendly stations like Fox News and the right-wing radio.
The briefings, especially those of Kelly McKinani, were filled with mockery from the media, rather than press conferences.
The change of tone during the Biden era indicates deeper goals, says Richmond Law School professor Carl Tobias.
Tobias says it is “more than style, but style is also important,” adding, “I think they were clear that they wanted to change the way the federal government works dramatically.”
He explains that this is “a radical departure from Trump, who used to enjoy breaking all customs, rules, laws and traditions, until the last moment.”