US President Joe Biden removes Donald Trump's Diet Coke button as White House makeover begins

It hasn't taken US President Joe Biden long to discover the extent of the mess he's inherited from Donald Trump.

And no, we're not talking about the state of the White House - although that did receive a deep clean - but the state, or lack of, a COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan.

It prompted the new President to issue 10 urgent executive orders, part of a NZ$2.6 trillion-dollar coronavirus package, a day after his inauguration.

Not long had the fireworks fizzled out before the contractors rolled in to begin packing down.

Cranes and trucks removed roadblocks and, under the cover of darkness, troops started filing out, their riot shields reflecting the lights of the building they were drafted in to protect - a convoy of buses taking them away from a city slowly coming back to life.

By morning, the clean-up effort intensified, allowing Washington DC's residents back into areas previously off-limits - including the National Mall.

There they scrambled for a souvenir. The 200,000 flags planted in the lawn quickly disappeared, as did the fortifications which had sealed off the central city. 

They're not dismantling the entire fortress though. A barrier fence and razor wire is still keeping people away from the Capitol Building, and inside there is still a militarised zone. 

Ten-thousand national guard troops will stay in the city for as long as the threat of more violence remains. 

It's not just the streets being cleaned up but the White House too, given a $700,000 deep clean before the new President moved in.

The Oval Office received a few homely touches. Busts of Rosa Parks and Cesar Chavez now watch over Biden's new desk, and former rivals Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton hang side-by-side on the walls. 

Gone is the little red button installed by Trump, which he once revealed got him "a Coke or a Pepsi", and so too is the attitude towards COVID-19.

Science now finally has an ally in the Oval Office, with the US death toll likely to top 500,000 next month.

The new Commander-in-Chief is promising to fight this pandemic with facts, and with his signature now carrying the power of the President, Joe Biden inked into action 10 new executive orders specific to COVID-19.

Masks are now mandatory for travel, testing has been supercharged, and 100 million vaccinations will be administered within 100 days. 

At the traditional inaugural prayer service, the new administration prayed on a brighter future for the nation, while the country's chief scientist praised the steps the President had already taken to secure it.

"The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know, what the evidence is, what the science is and know that's it - let the science speak - it is somewhat of a liberating feeling," Dr Anthony Fauci told a new conference.

That sense of liberty was celebrated well into President Biden's COVID-conscious inauguration evening, promising better days where science leads the new leader of the Free World.