Published January 22, 2021
Oluwatosin Omojuyigbe with agency report
President Joe Biden on Thursday focused on getting the COVID -19 pandemic under control by rolling out his national strategy that includes several executive actions related to vaccinations and testing in hopes of moving the federal response in a different direction.
“ Our national strategy is comprehensive ; it ’s based on science , not politics . It ’s based on truth , not denial , and it ’ s detailed ,” Biden said . He said the 198 – page plan is posted on WhiteHouse . gov .
CNN reports that Biden ’s plan starts with a national vaccination campaign to meet the President ’ s goal of administering 100 million shots , which is enough to cover 50 million Americans with vaccines that require two doses , in his first 100 days in office.
“ We ’ re at Day 1 ,” Biden said .
He said the plan was developed with input from the nation ’s top infectious disease expert , Dr Anthony Fauci , among other advisers and experts .
The day after being sworn – in, Biden was set to sign at least 10 executive orders, memorandums and directives focused on tackling the pandemic , which , as of Thursday morning , has claimed the lives of more than 400 ,000 Americans and infected over 24 million in the US.
Biden was set to sign an order ramping up supplies for vaccination , testing and personal protective equipment and another boosting development of therapeutics to treat COVID -19 .
Following through on his campaign proposals , Biden was expected to sign two executive orders creating a National Pandemic Testing Board to improve US coronavirus testing capacity and a COVID -19 Health Equity Task Force to ensure an “ equitable ” pandemic response and recovery .
Another executive order will enhance the nation ’s collection , production , sharing and analysis of data about the virus .
He directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to offer full reimbursement to states for the cost of National Guard personnel and emergency supplies such as PPE for schools .
Biden asked the Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services to provide guidance for safe reopening and operating of schools , childcare providers , and institutions of higher education.
He was set to issue an executive order calling on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to release clear guidance on COVID -19 , decide whether to establish emergency temporary standards and directs OSHA to enforce worker health and safety requirements .
Building on the order he signed on Wednesday making masks mandatory on federal property , Biden also took action to require facial coverings in airports and on certain modes of transportation , including many trains , planes, maritime vessels and intercity buses . Thursday ’s executive order also requires international travellers to provide proof of a negative COVID – 19 test before travelling to the US.