Biden revokes series of Trump’s proclamations including order to punish monument vandals

US President Joe Biden revoked a series of proclamations by Donald Trump including an order to punish vandals who destroy monuments.

Mr Trump issued the order amid last year’s social justice protests as statues were being defaced or toppled.

Mr Biden also revoked Mr Trump’s plans for a sculpture garden to honour American heroes.

And he canned a 2019 proclamation that sought to bar entry to immigrants who could not afford health insurance.

Mr Trump issued an order in June 2020 instructing the federal government “to prosecute to the fullest extent” any person “that destroys, damages, vandalizes, or desecrates a monument, memorial, or statue”.

The proclamation singled out “rioters, arsonists and left-wing extremists” and it  was a popular talking point for the Republican president at his rallies.

It followed demonstrators targeting statues, many dedicated to figures from the pro-slavery Confederacy, during US-wide protests following the murder of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Mr Biden also took down Mr Trump’s order in October 2019 that immigrants must prove they could cover medical costs before being allowed into the US, a policy that was quickly blocked by a federal judge.

“My Administration is committed to expanding access to quality, affordable healthcare,” including for non-citizens, Mr Biden said as he revoked that proclamation.

On Friday, Mr Biden also scrapped his predecessor’s orders taking aim at social media “censorship” and for all US foreign aid to be branded with a logo reflecting “the values and generosity of the American people”.