10 Ways Biden Plans to Fight COVID
On Saturday, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were elected as the next President and Vice President of the United States. During their campaign, the team promises to make combatting COVID-19 one of their key priorities as they step into their rules running the country, and, although the presidency is still being contested, they are wasting no time getting down to business. On Monday, the Biden-Harris team revealed their plans to beat COVID-19.
"The American people deserve an urgent, robust, and professional response to the growing public health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak," they wrote on the "COVID-19" page of their new Biden-Harris Transition website. "President-elect Biden believes that the federal government must act swiftly and aggressively to help protect and support our families, small businesses, first responders, and caregivers essential to help us face this challenge, those who are most vulnerable to health and economic impacts, and our broader communities – not to blame others or bail out corporations."
Here are the Biden administration's plans. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
They Just Announced a New COVID Task Force
On Monday, Biden's transition team announced the new members of his coronavirus advisory board, to be led by former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, former US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. David Kessler and Yale University's Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith. Dr. Luciana Borio, Rick Bright, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Dr. Atul Gawande, Dr. Celine Gounder, Dr. Julie Morita, Michael Osterholm, Loyce Pace, Dr. Robert Rodriguez and Dr. Eric Goosby are the other members.
They Will Listen to Science
During his campaign, Biden promised to listen to the scientists and create COVID-19 policies accordingly. This will include ensuring "public health decisions are informed by public health professionals" and also promoting "trust, transparency, common purpose, and accountability in our government."
They Will Increase Testing
"President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris have a seven-point plan to beat COVID-19," the document reveals. This includes ensuring that "all Americans have access to regular, reliable, and free testing." They will do this by doubling the number of drive-through testing sites and investing in "next-generation testing"— including at home tests and instant tests, "so we can scale up our testing capacity by orders of magnitude." They will also create a
"Pandemic Testing Board like Roosevelt's War Production Board," they revealed. "It's how we produced tanks, planes, uniforms, and supplies in record time, and it's how we will produce and distribute tens of millions of tests."
They Will Make Masks Mandatory
During his campaign, Biden expressed intention to make masks and protective face coverings mandated.
They Will Also Increase Contact Tracing
Their plan includes establishing a U.S. Public Health Jobs Corps, "to mobilize at least 100,000 Americans across the country with support from trusted local organizations in communities most at risk to perform culturally competent approaches to contact tracing and protecting at-risk populations."
They Will Invest in Vaccines
Biden previously promised that he would invest $25 billion into making and distributing vaccines to everyone in the US for free. He also promises to make therapies and drugs more affordable.
They Will Prioritize PPE
The plan prioritizes fixing personal protective equipment (PPE) problems for good. "President-elect Joe Biden is taking responsibility and giving states, cities, tribes, and territories the critical supplies they need," they explain. They plan on using the Defense Production Act "to ramp up production of masks, face shields, and other PPE so that the national supply of personal protective equipment exceeds demand and our stores and stockpiles — especially in hard-hit areas that serve disproportionately vulnerable populations — are fully replenished." They will also start investing in "flexible American-sourced and manufactured capability to ensure we are not dependent on other countries in a crisis."
They Will Help Communities Do Their Part
The Biden administration is going to help "provide clear, consistent, evidence-based guidance for how communities should navigate the pandemic – and the resources for schools, small businesses, and families to make it through." The Biden administration notes that "social distancing is not a light switch" but instead "a dial." Therefore, President-elect Biden will "direct the CDC to provide specific evidence-based guidance for how to turn the dial up or down relative to the level of risk and degree of viral spread in a community, including when to open or close certain businesses, bars, restaurants, and other spaces; when to open or close schools, and what steps they need to take to make classrooms and facilities safe; appropriate restrictions on size of gatherings; when to issue stay-at-home restrictions."
They Will Also Support Communities
The Biden administration is also going to support these communities so that they don't fall into financial ruin. They plan on establishing "a renewable fund for state and local governments to help prevent budget shortfalls, which may cause states to face steep cuts to teachers and first responders." They will also work with Congress to pass an emergency package "to ensure schools have the additional resources they need to adapt effectively to COVID-19" and also provide a "restart package" to help small businesses cover the costs of operating safely, including things like plexiglass and PPE.
They Will Partner with the WHO
During the pandemic, President Trump started the process of withdrawing from the World Health Organization. However, Biden has expressed intent on re-establishing the relationship. "Americans are safer when America is engaged in strengthening global health. On my first day as President, I will rejoin the @WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage," Biden tweeted in July. Over the weekend Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, director of the organization, congratulated the newly elected leaders. "Congratulations to President-elect @JoeBiden & Vice President-Elect @KamalaHarris! My @WHO colleagues and I look forward to working with you and your teams. Crises like the #COVID19 pandemic show the importance of global solidarity in protecting lives and livelihoods. Together!"