“The pandemic is getting significantly more worrisome all across the country,” Biden said on Friday. “I want everyone to know on day one, we’re going to put our plan to control this virus into action.”
“By the time that the Biden-Harris administration takes over, this virus is going to have already run rampant through the communities across the United States,” Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency physician at Brown University, said Sunday on CNN.
On Monday, Biden is expected to announce the names of the dozen leaders who will serve on his coronavirus task force. CNN reported Saturday it will be led by former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, former US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. David Kessler and Yale University’s Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith.
That doesn’t mean Trump’s White House coronavirus task force will be turning off the lights.
Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, said Sunday on CNN that it’s critically important that Trump and Biden’s respective coronavirus task force teams work together.
“First and foremost, I think we should demand that there be cooperation,” Jha said.
Here are five ways Biden says the US coronavirus response will change when he’s President.
Increased testing and contact tracing
Number one on Biden’s list of promises is more testing and contact tracing.
They say they’ll double drive-through testing sites, invest in new technology, and create a U.S. Public Health Jobs Corps that would mobilize “at least 100,000” culturally competent contact tracers.
Additional investment in vaccines and treatments
States filed their vaccine distribution plans with the CDC weeks ago. But they have received no funds from Congress to start building the infrastructure they will need to distribute those vaccines to tens of millions of people.
Biden promises to invest $25 billion more to make and distribute vaccines to everyone in the US for free.
They say politics will play no role in whether a vaccine is approved, and the new administration will make clinical data for any approved vaccine publicly available.
The Biden campaign also promised therapies and drugs would be affordable.
Mandatory masks and more PPE
The Biden team also says it will take on problems with personal protective equipment for health care workers.
Biden said he would use that power to make sure the national supply stocks are fully replenished. He also promised to help create American-sourced products so 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 would create a “restart package” to help small businesses pay for protective equipment and plexiglass.
A push for ‘clear, consistent, evidence-based guidance’
The Biden team says it would create a Nationwide Pandemic Dashboard so people could gauge for themselves, in real time, how much disease is in their ZIP code. That level of data has been hard to find.
Rejoining WHO and searching for future threats
The Biden administration also says it plans to expand the CDC’s ranks oversees, so that its disease detectives can spot future threats. The Trump administration had cut some of those jobs, including in the China office.
CNN’s Maggie Fox, Lauren Mascarenhas, Leanna Faulk, Dan Merica and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.