Biden Unveils 200-Page COVID-19 National Strategy
Hours after his inauguration as president, Joe Biden signed a string of executive orders and presidential directives, many of which reversed orders put in place by the Trump administration.
The orders included new requirements for masks on interstate planes, trains and buses, the creation of a national testing board and mandatory quarantines for international travelers arriving in the United States.
One of Biden’s main goals as President is to tame the coronavirus pandemic, as the national death toll exceeded 400,000 just days ago.
In a 200-page document released on Thursday called “National Strategy for the Covid-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness,” the Biden administration outlined the centralized federal response demanded by Democrats and unfulfilled by former President Donald Trump.
Biden’s plan for the pandemic had caused some to be optimistic, while others question if it goes enough.
It is still unclear how the new quarantine requirement will be enforced and Biden’s promise to inject 100 million vaccines in his first hundred days is aiming low, experts say, since there should be twice the number of doses available.
When asked if the vaccination goal should be higher, Biden shot back, saying, “When I announced, you all said it’s not possible. Come on, give me a break, man.”
The approved coronavirus vaccines require two doses, and millions of Americans already have received their first shot. According to Scott Gottlieb, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration under Trump, Biden’s promise should cover 65 to 70 million Americans.
“I think we can reach that goal and probably reach higher, by focusing on how many people are being vaccinated for the first time each day,” Gottlieb said.
Beyond the 100-day mark is where the problems lie, experts say. Federal health officials and corporate executives agree that it will be impossible to increase the immediate supply of vaccines before April at the earliest, due to the lack of manufacturing capacity.
“The brutal truth is it’s going to take months before we can get the majority of Americans vaccinated,” Biden said.
The administration is asking Congress for $1.9 trillion for pandemic relief, and White House officials said they will need much of that money to put their COVID-19 plan into place.