How the Biden administration will battle COVID-19


Zach Gilbert

Over the course of his first 100 days in office, President-elect Joe Biden is prepared to properly respond to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic. Photo courtesy of ABC News.

When President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Inauguration Day, he will launch a three-point plan to combat the coronavirus pandemic over his first 100 days and help control a crisis that has claimed the lives of nearly 350,000 Americans.

“My first 100 days won’t end the COVID-19 virus,” Biden said in December at an event in Wilmington, Delaware. “I can’t promise that. We did not get into this mess quickly, and we’re not going to get out of it quickly. It’s going to take some time. But I’m absolutely convinced that in 100 days, we can change the course of the disease and change life in America for the better.”

To begin, Biden aims to distribute 100 million vaccine shots in his first 100 days, which will cover 50 million people. As recommended by vaccine advisers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Biden administration will prioritize vaccinating health care workers and residents in long-term care facilities. In addition, Biden believes educators should receive the vaccine as soon as possible.

Furthermore, Biden has pledged to sign a face mask mandate on his first day in office. Though he alone cannot force every single American to wear a mask, Biden can still require masks in federal buildings and on planes, trains and buses that are used for interstate travel.

Biden had previously stated that he would work with governors and mayors to pass mask mandates across America. This is a considerable contrast to President Trump’s view on masking, as he showed resistance to mandates for months.

Finally, Biden will conduct efforts to safely bring American children back to schools throughout the country. Assuming Congress is able to provide ample funding to protect students, teachers and school staff and that states put protective health measures in place that their constituents can properly follow, Biden’s team believes this goal is attainable.

“My team will work to see that a majority of our schools can be open by the end of my first 100 days,” Biden said.

After announcing that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease doctor, will be acting as Biden’s chief medical adviser on the pandemic, Biden has continued to fill out COVID-19 response team, naming California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as his nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services and Dr. Vivek Murthy as his nominee for surgeon general.

Meanwhile, Biden’s transition co-chair, former Obama administration official Jeff Zients, will act as “coordinator of the COVID-19 response and counselor to the President,” and former White House and Pentagon senior advisor Natalie Quillian will serve as deputy coordinator of the COVID-19 response.

“President-elect Biden and I will work closely with this team to marshal the full resources and capabilities of the United States of America to save lives, contain this pandemic, and build better preparedness for future pandemics and other health threats,” Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said.

Biden was equally hopeful for his response team’s success.

“This team of world-class medical experts and public servants will be ready on day one to mobilize every resource of the federal government to expand testing and masking, oversee the safe, equitable, and free distribution of vaccines, re-open schools and businesses safely, lower prescription drug and other health costs, and expand affordable health care to all Americans.”