Story at a glance
- President Biden will create new federal advisory panels and allocate more resources to testing and vaccination.
- His goal remains to vaccinate 100 million people during his first 100 days.
Hitting the ground running, newly sworn-in President Biden has announced 10 executive orders which will place his administration’s new COVID-19 plan into action.
USAToday reports that Biden will use Thursday, his first full day in office to formally require face masks and coverings on public transportation arenas, including airports, planes and trains.
Another order will focus on a national strategy to safely reopen schools, with a separate executive action creating a new federal testing board to oversee COVID-19 testing efforts.
Biden will also reportedly invoke the Defense Production Act to increase the creation of vaccination and testing equipment and dedicate resources to launching new trials and studies to find treatments for COVID-19 with an emphasis on a diverse population involved in clinical testing.
In a similar vein, Biden will also create a COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force that will advise federal authorities on how to allocate resources in communities with inequities rooted in race, ethnicity, disability and other considerations.
These orders reflect a new federal policy that is starkly different from his predecessor. Biden’s plans are centered on a stronger federal approach to helping mitigate the pandemic.
"For almost a year now, Americans could not look to the federal government for any strategy, let alone a comprehensive approach to respond to COVID," Jeff Zients, Biden's White House coronavirus response coordinator, told reporters. "And we've seen the tragic costs of that failure. As President Biden steps into office, that all changes."
Eventually, Biden will likely look to implement his COVID-19 Relief Package, which will cost approximately $1.9 trillion. Included in this legislative package will be $1,400 stimulus checks, $50 billion for expanded COVID-19 testing infrastructure and $160 billion for a national vaccine program.