“The pandemic is becoming more troubling nationwide,” Biden said on Friday. “I want everyone to know on the first day we are going to have this virus control plan implemented.”
There were staggeringly high incidence numbers last week, and by the time Biden takes office on January 20, the University of Washington’s influential health measurement and assessment modeling projects, there will be more. 372,000 Covid-19 deaths – this is 135,000 more than the present total.
Dr Megan Ranney, an emergency doctor at Brown University, said Sunday on CNN: “By the time the Biden-Harris administration takes over, this virus will spread to communities across the United States.”
On Monday, Biden is expected to announce the names of dozens of chiefs that will serve in its coronavirus task force. CNN reported on Saturday it will be led by former surgeon Dr. Vivek Murthy, former US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, Dr. David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith’s Yale University.
That doesn’t mean Trump’s White House coronavirus task force will turn off the lights.
Dr. Ashish Jha, principal of Brown University School of Public Health, said Sunday on CNN that it is extremely important that the respective groups of Trump and Biden’s coronaviruses are working together.
“First and foremost, I think we should ask for cooperation,” Jha said.
Here are five ways Biden says that the US coronavirus response will change when he is President.
Enhanced testing and contact tracking
Number one on Biden’s promising list is more testing and contact tracking.
Trials have increased dramatically since the first days of the pandemic, But scientists say the country needs tens of millions of tests every day to keep the country safely open, and even 10 months after the pandemic, that is not enough.
Without testing, scientists cannot get a clear picture of where the virus is growing. With about 40% of Covid-19 cases estimated to be asymptomatic, rapid test results are the key to preventing the spread of the disease. And research has shown that about 75% of infected contacts need to be quarantined in order to prevent transmission.
Biden promises all Americans have access to “a regular, reliable and free trial.”
They say they will double test sites, invest in new technology, and set up a US Public Health Employment Organization that will mobilize “at least 100,000” cultured exposure followers. .
Biden said he would also borrow a page from the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration and create something like the War Production Department, which would help oversee the transition from peacetime factories to military equipment factories. and weapons. Biden said the Pandemic Inspection Committee will help produce and distribute tens of millions of tests.
Invest additionally in vaccines and treatments
Since March, the Trump administration has spent billions of dollars developing and scaling Covid-19 vaccines and treatments through Operation Warp Speed. Its goal is to produce and deliver 300 million safe and effective vaccine doses by January 2021. Several potential vaccines are undergoing large-scale testing.
States submitted their vaccine distribution plans to the CDC a few weeks ago. But they don’t get money from Congress to start building the infrastructure they’ll need to deliver those vaccines to tens of millions of people.
Biden promises to invest an additional $ 25 billion to produce and distribute vaccines for free to everyone in the US.
They say politics will play no role in whether a vaccine is approved and that the new administration will make clinical data on any approved vaccine publicly available.
The Biden campaign also promises therapies and drugs to be affordable.
Required masking and more PPE
Biden said he will work with local governors and mayors to enforce masking in public. A modeling study in October showed that if 95% of Americans wore a mask, more than 100,000 lives could be saved from Covid-19.
The Biden team also said it will solve problems with personal protective equipment for medical personnel.
Several studies have shown that there has been a serious shortage of personal protective devices since the beginning of 2020 and some of the shortages have worsened, according to a September analysis of American Hospital Association.
Generally, healthcare and nursing home workers must reuse gloves, masks and other protective equipment when they are in danger. The union, National Nurses United, estimates that more than 1,700 health-care workers died during the pandemic. From March to May, 6% of all patients admitted to hospital with Covid-19 were healthcare workers, according to the October CDC report.
While the Trump administration claims to use the Defense Manufacturing Act to boost PPE production, a nonpartisan analysis in September found it rarely did so.
Biden said he will use that power to ensure the full complement of national supplies. He also promised to help create products originating from the United States so that the US would not be dependent on other countries.
In addition to encouraging Congress to pass an emergency package to help schools pay for pandemic supplies, the Biden administration will create a “reboot package” to help small businesses pay for their supplies. protective gear and tempered glass.
Promote ‘clear, consistent, evidence-based instruction’
The Biden administration has also said it will encourage the CDC to take a more active role in providing specific guidance to the community on when they need to close. Trump’s critics say the agency has been on the sidelines in favor of reopening the economy.
The Biden team says it will create a National Pandemic Dashboard so people can assess the disease level for themselves in real time in their ZIP code. That data level is difficult to find.
Biden will also set up the Race and Difference Task Force Covid-19 which will become the Post-Pandemic Disparity Permanent Infectious Diseases Task Force to address disparity issues. deviations in the public health system. Black, Hispanic, and Native American communities have significantly higher rates of infection and hospitalization.
Reconnect with WHO and look for future threats
The Trump administration officially began the process of withdrawing from the World Health Organization in July. Biden said that he would re-establish US relations with WHO.
The Biden administration has also said it plans to expand the CDC’s surveillance ranks, so that their detectives can detect future threats. The Trump administration has cut some of those jobs, including in the Chinese office.
In the Trump administration, PREDICT, the pathogen tracking program that looks for future disease threats like coronavirus, is over. Biden says he will launch it again.
Biden also said he would reinstate the White House National Security Council Board of Directors for Global Health Security and Biodefense, which the Trump administration transformed into another organization in 2018. It was turned into by the Obama administration. created in 2016 to help manage threats like Ebola.
CNN’s Maggie Fox, Lauren Mascarenhas, Leanna Faulk, Dan Merica and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.