Biden Kicks Off Federal Strategy To Fight Covid With ‘Wartime’ Urgency, Warnings
Even with the new initiatives, President Joe Biden cautioned the public that it would still take months "for us to turn things around."
Biden Unveils Coronavirus Plan, Warns It Will Take Months To 'Turn Things Around'
President Biden on Thursday unveiled a comprehensive strategy to address the coronavirus pandemic while warning that it would take months for his administration’s actions to significantly alter the trajectory of the pandemic. Biden, seeking to manage expectations as the United States confronts a dire period of infections, said that the COVID-19 death toll would likely top 500,000 in February and that it would take months to get Americans vaccinated against the virus. (Hellmann and Chalfant, 1/21)
The Washington Post:
Biden Says Death Toll From Pandemic Likely Will Top 500,000 Next Month, Says It Will Take Months ‘For Us To Turn Things Around’
A new federal strategy to tame the coronavirus pandemic focuses on trying to make tests and vaccines more abundant, schools and travel safer, and states better able to afford their role in the long road back to normal life. The plan and 10 executive orders that President Biden issued Thursday include the creation of a Pandemic Testing Board that can spur a “surge” in the capacity for coronavirus tests. Other orders will foster research into new treatments for covid-19, the disease caused by the virus; strengthen the collection and analysis of data to shape the government’s response to the crisis; and direct the federal occupational safety agency to release and enforce guidelines to protect workers from getting infected. (Goldstein, Stanley-Becker and Meckler, 1/21)
‘Wartime Effort’: Biden Signs Orders To Fight The Pandemic
President Joe Biden signed 10 more executive orders on Thursday, invoking the Defense Production Act in a "wartime undertaking" to boost production of vaccine supplies while also requiring travelers to the U.S. to get a test before flying. After assailing Donald Trump's coronavirus response as a candidate and throughout the transition, Biden laid out in more detail what he'll do differently as cases and hospitalizations continue to rise, with the U.S. death toll expected to reach half a million people within weeks. Biden said that the worst of the pandemic is yet to come and that it will take time for progress to be measurable. (Ollstein and Leonard, 1/21)
Biden Signs Burst Of Virus Orders, Vows 'Help Is On The Way'
With a burst of executive orders, President Joe Biden served notice Thursday that America’s war on COVID-19 is under new command, promising an anxious nation progress to reduce infections and lift the siege it has endured for nearly a year. At the same time, he tried to manage expectations in his second day in office, saying despite the best intentions “we’re going to face setbacks.” He brushed off a reporter’s question on whether his goal of 100 million coronavirus shots in 100 days should be more ambitious, a point pressed by some public health experts. (Alonso-Zaldivar and Miller, 1/21)
Factbox: Biden's Plan To Fight The Coronavirus
President Joe Biden launched a comprehensive federal plan on Thursday to rein in the raging COVID-19 pandemic. (Bose, 1/21)
READ: Biden Administration's COVID-19 Response And Pandemic Preparedness Strategy
The White House early Thursday released the Biden administration's National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. Officials said the coordinated pandemic response will improve the effectiveness of the fight against COVID-19, and help "restore trust, accountability and a sense of common purpose in our government." (1/21/21)
More on Biden's health agenda —
The Washington Post:
In First Full Day In Office, Biden Faces Multiple Crises
President Biden raced Thursday to show he was addressing the array of crises awaiting him on his first day in office, issuing executive orders aimed at combating the coronavirus and preparing measures to take on the struggling economy and other problems. Biden and his team found themselves immediately on what the president called a “wartime” footing, describing fighting the coronavirus as “a national emergency.” Against an already calamitous backdrop of a pandemic that has left more than 408,000 Americans dead, an additional 900,000 people filed new unemployment claims last week, underlining a devastated job market. (Parker and Viser, 1/21)
KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: The Biden Health Agenda
President Joe Biden wasted no time getting down to work. Among the raft of executive orders he signed on Inauguration Day were several aimed at curtailing the covid crisis, including one requiring mask-wearing by federal employees and anyone on federal property for the next 100 days. Meanwhile, with the inauguration of Vice President Kamala Harris and the swearing-in of two new Democratic senators from Georgia, Democrats took over the majority in the Senate, albeit with a 50-50 tie. That leaves Democrats in charge of both the legislative and executive branches for the first time since 2010, but with such narrow majorities it could be difficult to advance many of Biden’s top health agenda items, starting with an expansion of the Affordable Care Act. (1/21)