Biden unveils coronavirus national strategy, calls it a ‘war-time undertaking’

Biden unveils coronavirus national strategy, calls it a ‘war-time undertaking’

President
Biden
unveiled
his
national
strategy
for
coronavirus,
calling
it
a
“war-time
undertaking”
and
signing
a
number
of
executive
actions
to
“beat
this
pandemic.”

Biden,
speaking
from
the
Oval
Office,
outlined
his
administration’s
coronavirus
response,
saying
it
is
“comprehensive,
based
on
science,
not
politics,”
and
“based
on
truth,
not
denial.”


BIDEN
LAUNCHING
PUBLIC
HEALTH
JOBS
CORPS,
HOST
OF
EXECUTIVE
ACTIONS
TO
ADDRESS
COVID-19

“While
the
vaccine
provides
so
much
hope,
the
rollout
has
been
a
dismal
failure
thus
far,”
Biden
said.
“Let
me
be
very
clear

things
are
going
to
continue
to
get
worse
before
they
get
better.”

Biden,
painting
a
grim yet
realistic
picture,
said
the
death
toll
from
the
novel
coronavirus
will
likely
top
500,000
by
next
month.

“We
didn’t
get
into
this
mess
overnight,
and
it’s
going
to
take
months
to
turn
this
around,”
Biden
said.
“But
let
me
be
equally
clear,
we
will
get
through
this.
Help
is
on
the
way.”

Biden
said
his
administration
would
mount
an
“aggressive,
safe
and
effective
vaccination
campaign,”
and
vowed
to
deliver
100
million
shots
in
his
first
100
days
in
office,
calling
it
“one
of
the
greatest
operational
challenges
our
nation
has
ever
undertaken.”

“We’re
committed
to
getting
it
done—we
will
move
heaven
and
earth
to
get
more
people
vaccinated
for
free
and
create
more
places
for
them
to
get
vaccinated,
increase
vaccine
supply,
and
get
it
out
the
door
as
quickly
as
possible,”
Biden
said.

Biden
said
he
has
directed
the
Federal
Emergency
Management
Agency
(FEMA)
to
begin
creating
federally
supported
vaccination
centers,
saying
there
is
a
goal
to
have
up
to
100
centers
by
next
month.

The
presicent
announced
that
the
administration
will
also
launch
a
federal
pharmacy
program
to
make
vaccines
available
to
communities’
local
pharmacies

a
move
he
said
would
be
ready
by
early
February.
He
also
said
he
has
asked
the
Department
of
Health
and
Human
Services
to
“prepare
and
expand
the
pool
of
medical
professionals
who
can
administer
the
vaccine.”

Biden
also
said
he
directed
FEMA
to
create
a
COVID-19
liaison
for
each
state
to
maximize
the
coordination
between
the
federal
government
and
states
to
ensure
a
smooth
vaccine
distribution,
and
also
said
he
would
“immediately
begin
reimbursing
states
100%
for
the
use
of
their
national
guards
to
help
COVID
relief
efforts,”
something
he
said
both
Democrat
and
Republican
governors
alike
have
called
for.

“The
brutal
truth

it
is
going
to
take
months
before
we
can
get
the
majority
of
the
American
people
vaccinated,”
Biden
admitted,
again
urging
Americans
to
“mask
up,”
and
partake
in
his
100-day
mask
challenge.

“By
wearing
a
mask
from
now
until
April,
we’d
save
more
than
50,000
lives,”
Biden
said,

Meanwhile,
the
president
signed
an
executive
action
to
extend
the
requirement
of
mask-wearing
to
planes,
trains
and
buses.

Biden
said
that
in
light
of
the
new
COVID-19
strain,
the
U.S.
would
institute
a
new
measure
for
individuals
flying
into
the
U.S.
from
other
countries.
In
addition
to
wearing
masks,
travelers
from
outside
the
U.S.
would
be
required
to
get
tested
before
boarding
the
plane,
and
required
to
quarantine
upon
arrival
to
the
U.S.

“This
is
a
full-scale,
war-time
effort,”
Biden
said,
noting
that
more
than
400,000
Americans
have
died—a
figure
larger
than
the
American
death
toll
in
all
of
World
War
II.

“This
is
a
war-time
undertaking,”
Biden
said,
adding
that
he
has
invoked
the
Defense
Production
Act
to
prioritize
manufacturing
masks
and
supplies
necessary
to
administer
vaccines.
The
Trump
administration
also
invoked
the
Defense
Production
Act
to
expand
the
manufacturing
of
ventilators
and
Personal
Protective
Equipment
(PPE)
early
on
in
the
pandemic.

With
regards
to
schools,
Biden
said
he
has
directed
the
Department
of
Education
and
HHS
to
provide
schools
and
communities
with
“clear
guidance
and
resources
to
safely
reopen
schools
and
childcare
centers,”
saying
that
doing
so
would
sent
families
back
to
work.

STATES
REPORT
COVID-19
VACCINE
SHORTAGES
AND
CANCEL
APPOINTMENTS

And
as
for
testing,
Biden
said
he
is
launching
a
COVID-19
testing
board,
and
putting
“the
full
force
of
the
federal
government
behind
expanding
testing.”

Biden
said
the
administration’s
strategy
would
be
based
on
science
and
said
health
officials
will
“work
free
from
political
interference
and
make
decisions
based
on
science
and
health
care
alone.”

“Vice
President
Harris
and
I
and
our
administration
will
always
be
honest
and
transparent
with
you,
about
both
the
good
news
and
the
bad,”
Biden
said,
adding
that
they
will
“always
level
with
you
when
we
make
a
mistake.”

“Despite
the
best
intentions,
we’re
going
to
face
setbacks,
which
I
will
always
explain
to
you,”
Biden
said.
“But
also
know,
we
can
do
this
if
we
come
together.”

Biden,
echoing
the
sentiment
in
his
inaugural
address,
said,
“Ultimately,
our
plan
is
based
on
unity
and
all
of
us
acting
as
one
nation.”

“This
is
the
plan,”
Biden
said.
“This
is
the
plan.”

Biden
signed
a
number
of
COVID-19-related
executive
actions
from
the
Oval
Office,
which
directed
federal
agencies
to
make
a
variety
of
reforms
designed
to,
among
other
things,
fill
supply
shortfalls.
The
White
House
will
establish
a COVID-19
Response
Office
responsible
for
coordinating
the
multi-faceted
effort
across
federal
agencies.

Biden’s
first
stated
goal is
to
“restore
trust
with
the
American
people”
by
working
towards
transparent
decision-making,
conduct
regular
briefings,
and
lead
“science-first
public
health
campaigns.”

“To
rebuild
the
trust
of
the
American
people,
the
National
Strategy
will
signal
clear
public
leadership
and
a
commitment
to
a
robust
whole-of-government
response
that
puts
science
first,”
reads
the
strategy
document. “The
federal
government
will
be
transparent
with
the
American
people,
maintaining
an
open
line
of
communication
with
the
public
and
all
stakeholders.”

Biden,
since
taking
office,
also
restored
the
National
Security
Council
entity former
President
Obama
created
for
addressing
pandemics.
The
president
also
sent
letters
informing
the
United
Nations
and
World
Health
Organization
(WHO)
that
the
U.S.
would
reverse
Trump’s decision
to
withdraw
from
the
WHO.

The
battle
against
the coronavirus is
hitting
a
roadblock:
A
number
of
states
are
reporting
they
are
running
out
of
vaccine,
and
tens
of
thousands
of
people
who
managed
to
get
appointments
for
a
first
dose
are
seeing
them
canceled.

The
push
to
inoculate
Americans
has
been
encountering shortages
as
states
dramatically
ramp
up
their
vaccination
drives,
at
the
direction
of
the
federal
government,
to
reach
people
65
and
older,
along
with
other
groups
deemed
essential
or
at
high
risk. 

About
half
of
the
31
million
doses
distributed
to
the
states
by
the
federal
government
have
been
administered
so
far,
though
only
about
2
million
people
have
received
the
two
doses
needed
for
maximum
protection
against
COVID-19,
according
to
the
Centers
for
Disease
Control
and
Prevention.


Fox
News’
Sam
Dorman
and
The
Associated
Press
contributed
to
this
report.

Brooke
Singman
is
a
Politics
Reporter
for
Fox
News.
Follow
her
on
Twitter
at
@BrookeSingman.

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