President signed several orders on Thursday to kickstart his administration’s national COVID-19 strategy, calling the aggressive effort a “wartime undertaking.” The newly minted president designed to focus on mending public trust and increasing transparency; accelerating production of materials for tests and vaccines; improving COVID-19 response coordination with state and local officials; and ensuring pandemic strategies are equitable and reach communities that are hit hardest.
“Our national strategy is comprehensive. It’s based on science, not politics. It’s based on truth, not denial. And it’s detailed ― you can review this entire plan,” Biden said at the signing, showing a copy .
“Our plan starts with mounting an aggressive, safe, and effective vaccination campaign to meet our goal of administering ,” he continued. “This will be one of the greatest our nation has ever undertaken. And I’m committed to getting it done; we’re committed to getting it done.”
Here are the ten executive actions:
- Executive Order on a Sustainable Supply Chain
- Executive Order on
- Executive Order on Ensuring an Equitable and Recovery
- Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and
- Executive Order on Establishing the Workforce
- Executive Order on Supporting the and Early Childhood Education Providers
- Executive Order on Ensuring a Data-Driven Response to COVID-19 and Future High-Consequence Public
- Memorandum to to Governors’ Use of the National Guard to Respond to COVID-19 and to Increase Reimbursement and Other Assistance Provided to States
- Executive Order on Improving and to Care and Treatments for COVID-19
- National Security Directive: United States to Strengthen the International COVID-19 Response
While the executive actions are to combat the pandemic and save lives, they already starkly contrast to the negligent, misinformation-filled approach that former President Donald Trump’s administration took to fight the virus.
According to CNN, there’s virtually no , leaving Biden and his team to “start from scratch”.
“We couldn’t rely on the to act with the urgency, focus, and coordination we needed. And we have seen the tragic cost of that failure,” Biden said. “While the vaccine provides so much hope, the rollout has been a dismal failure thus far.”
The he understands “the despair and frustration” of civilians and state, local, and tribal officials who “feel like they’re left on their own without a clear national plan.” But to be transparent with the public, he stressed that the plan he’s immediately implementing would not produce immediate results.
“ will continue to get worse before they get better. Unfortunately, the memorial we held two nights ago will not be our last one. The 500,000 next month; the cases will continue to mount,” he said. “We didn’t get into this mess overnight. It’s going to take months for us to turn things around. But let me be equally clear: We will get through this. We will defeat this pandemic. … Help is on the way.”
Part of the executive actions includes authorizing the Defense Production Act, which allows the to control industrial production. The DPA would enable companies to produce the pandemic response materials necessary to meet the moment, including materials that would help in the show, distribution, and administering of . Earlier in the pandemic, the DPA was needed to address a shortage of . On Wednesday, to set up its first mass vaccination centers.
“Our national plan launches a full-scale wartime effort to address the by ramping up production and protective equipment, syringes, needles, you name it,” Biden said. “And when I say wartime, people kind of look at me like, ‘Wartime?'”
“Well, as I said last night, . That’s more than have died in all of II,” he continued. “Four-hundred thousand. This is a wartime undertaking.”
Notably, many orders highlight the need to address , fight coronavirus-related misinformation, and encourage Americans to listen to scientists and experts ― all challenges the Trump administration not only refused to face but encouraged.
“Above all, we plan said. We will ensure that scientists and public speak directly to you. That’s why you’ll hear much more from Dr. [Anthony] Fauci again ― not from the president, but from the natural, genuine experts and scientists. Science and health alone, not with the political consequences.”
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