Biden’s 3-part plan to tackle the coronavirus: Masks, vaccinations, opening schools
( Fox )
President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday announced a three-part plan to combat the coronavirus pandemic in the first 100 days of his administration.
Biden, speaking in his hometown of Wilmington, Del., as he formally unveiled his team of top health officials, emphasized “masking, vaccinations, opening schools. These are the three key goals for my first 100 days.”
And the president-elect stressed, “I’m absolutely convinced that in 100 days we can change the course of the disease and change life in America for the better.”
Biden spelled out first the first time how he would implement his mask mandate, which he’s previously announced, for the first 100 days of his administration.
The president-elected explained that it will start with "my signing an order on day one to require masks where I can under the law, like federal buildings, interstate travel on planes, trains, and buses. I’ll also be working with the governors and mayors to do the same in their states and their cities. We’re going to require masks wherever possible.”
And Biden urged people to “help yourself, your family, your community. Whatever your politics or point of view — mask up for 100 days after we take office. A hundred days to make a difference. It’s not a political statement — it's a patriotic act.”
Thirty-eight states currently have mask mandates. The dozen that don't are Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee.
On vaccinations, Biden vowed that his “team will help get at least 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots into the arms of Americans in 100 days.”
He noted that “we will follow the guidance of scientists and get vaccines to those most at-risk. That includes health care personnel and people in long-term care; and, as soon as possible, that will include educators.” And he touted that “this will be the most efficient mass vaccination plan in U.S. history.”
As Biden was speaking in Delaware, back in the nation’s capital President Trump highlighted that the vaccines “will end the pandemic” and said that the country is just “days away” from the first “safe and effective vaccine” to combat COVID-19.
The president, during the vaccine summit at the White House, touted Operation Warp Speed — his administration’s public-private partnership that was created over the summer to create a vaccine “at breakneck speed.”
Pointing to Trump and his administration’s efforts to produce a vaccine, Bidens said he gives “credit everyone who has gotten us to this point, but developing the vaccine is one herculean task. Distributing it is another herculean task.”
Biden noted, “Our preliminary review of the Trump administration's vaccine distribution plan confirms media reports. Without urgent action by this Congress this month to put sufficient resources into vaccine distribution and manufacturing. ... There’s a real chance that after an early round of vaccinations, the effort will slow or stall.”
And he urged that “Congress to finish the bipartisan work underway now or millions of Americans may wait months longer to get the vaccine.”
On schools, Biden stressed that “it should be a national priority to get our kids back into school and keep them in school.”
And he said that “if Congress provides the funding we need to protect students, educators, and staff, and if states and cities put strong public health measures in place that we all follow, then my team will work to see that the majority of our schools can be open by the end of my first 100 days.”
Biden noted that he developed the three objectives in consultation with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top expert on infectious disease and the most well-known member of the current president’s coronavirus task force. Biden’s tapped Fauci to be his chief medical adviser on the coronavirus.
Nearly 285,000 deaths across the country have been tied to the coronavirus since the pandemic swept the nation in February and March, with more than 15 million cases of COVID-19. Most of the country has experience a surge in new cases and in hospitalizations over the past six weeks.