President-elect Joe Biden recently revealed his plan to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Among his top priorities will be to implement a 100-day face mask protection mandate. But that's really just the beginning of Biden's strategy. Let's take a look at what else is in store for Americans after he takes office.
National Priority #1: Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution
As of this writing, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of almost 375,000 Americans. So it should come as no surprise that stopping this deadly crisis is at the top of the Biden administration's agenda. The President-elect recently discussed his response team's three main objectives in an interview with CNN.
First and foremost, the Biden administration is aiming to distribute 100 million vaccine shots during his initial 100 days in office. That would be enough to completely vaccinate 50 million Americans. During his announcement of this objective and the rest of his coronavirus response strategy, Biden made it clear that while the end of this pandemic may be in sight, it's still far from over:
"My first 100 days won't end the COVID-19 virus. I can't promise that. But we did not get in this mess quickly, we're not going to get out of it quickly, it's going to take some time. But I'm absolutely convinced that in 100 days we can change the course of the disease and change life in America for the better."
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents receive vaccines first. Biden plans to follow this suggestion, and he also would like educators to be vaccinated as soon as possible as well. He has also requested for the Trump administration to buy the vaccine doses it has negotiated with manufacturers Moderna and Pfizer.
National Priority #2: Face Mask Mandate
Besides discussing the objective of distributing 100 million vaccine shots, Biden also reaffirmed his pledge to sign a face mask mandate on his first day as President. It's important to note that the President cannot unilaterally require all Americans to don face masks. But under this mandate, the President-elect said he would require them in federal buildings as well as on planes, trains, and buses partaking in interstate travel.
Biden has long touted the efficacy of face masks as coronavirus protection; his views on this matter are greatly informed by leading scientific evidence from around the world. He plans to work with governors and mayors of every state to pass local mask mandates across the country.
National Priority #3: Making School Safe Again
The Biden COVID-19 response team's third priority will be to enable kids to return to school safely. Achieving this will strongly depend on Congress providing the funding needed to adequately protect students, teachers, and school staff. It also relies on states and cities implementing public health measures that local citizens follow. If all goes well, Biden believes that the majority of educational facilities will be reopened by the end of his first 100 days in office.
During his discussion of this part of his three-point plan, Biden also reiterated his desire for businesses to also be able to reopen safely. While the recently passed $900 billion COVID-19 economic relief bill was a step in the right direction, Biden will also work with his team to provide additional support for Americans and to fund broader vaccine distribution endeavors.
Biden's Coronavirus Pandemic Response Team
While outlining his three-point plan, Biden also introduced the top members of his coronavirus response team. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States' top infections disease expert, will take on the helm of chief medical advisor. The President-elect consulted Fauci while developing the objectives of his strategy.
In addition to Fauci playing an active role in his administration's COVID-19 response, Biden also announced that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was his nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services. The President-elect also nominated Dr. Vivek Murthy, the Obama administration's Surgeon General, as his administration's Surgeon General.
Obama administration veterans Jeff Zients and Natalie Quillian will also serve as the COVID-19 response coordinator and counselor to the President and Deputy Coordinator, respectively. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Massachusetts General Hospital's Chief of Infectious Diseases, will take on the role of CDC Director. Lastly, Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, the Co-Chair of Biden's transition team, will serve as the COVID-19 equity task force Chair.
To properly fight this pandemic, Biden has pledged to always listen to the counsel of public health experts and scientists.
This 3-Point Plan Should Lead to Brighter Days
We believe that Biden's three-point plan should be effective in mitigating the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A mask mandate may not be the most ideal or comfortable strategy to many Americans, but with case numbers continuing to skyrocket, it could help to save hundreds of thousands of American lives.
Let's all do our part. Remember, while we may be apart, we're all in this crisis together. Please continue to wear your face masks, social distance, and sanitize frequently. Together, we'll defeat this pandemic.
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