On Friday, January 22, 2021, US Senators overwhelmingly have approved General Lloyd J. Austin as Defense secretary. Confirmed by the Senate as Defense secretary by a vote of 93-2, Gen Lloyd J. Austin becomes the first Black American in charge of the Pentagon.
On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has been sworn in as the 46th US President and Kamala Harris, as the Vice-President. They took office at a moment of major events, crises, and aspirations in the United States of America: healthcare crisis, profound economic challenges, and political crises, cries for unity and racial justice, and after a tumultuous four years that shattered the fabric of American society. Starting his Inaugural Address, President Joe Biden said: “This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day.”
US President-Elect Joe Biden has appointed Dr Susan Rice to lead the White House Domestic Policy Council. The surprising appoitment elevates the position to cabinet level. Dr. Susan Rice, AfroAmerica Network Black Woman of Year 2011, was long considered a contender for the Secretary of State position, until the position was given to Anthony Blinken. However, as indicated in our report, the nomination to that position could have created challenges in the Senate confirmation (see AfroAmerica Network: Joe Biden's Top Women VP Pick: Rwanda in the Middle of the Vetting Process)
US President-Elect Joe Biden has continued to nominate members on his team, as he gets closer to the ed of the year. On Monday , December 7, 2020, he announced the nomination of Defence, Health Care, and COVID-19 advisory team candidates. The new nominations continue, if nominees are confirmed, to break racial and gender barriers as promised by Joe Biden during the campaign.
In the new nominations, one of the key candidates is Dr. Anthony Fauci, a familiar figure who will remain Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and is adding to his title Chief Medical Adviser on COVID-19. Another nominee who will be at the top of the dicussions is Gen. Lloyd Austin, a retired general, to Head the Defense Department. If confirmed, Gen Lloyd Austin will be the first Black to be Secretary of Defense.