President Biden was preparing to spend his first full day at the White House dealing with a confluence of crises, with the pandemic topping that list.
The Biden team said they identified 12 “immediate supply shortages” in the Trump administration’s pandemic response plans, which Mr Biden is expected to address later Thursday when he discusses his approach to dealing with the crisis.
Some of Mr Biden’s advisors said they were stunned by the vaccination schedule – or the missing one – he inherited from the Trump administration, and said the Trump team had failed to share important information about vaccine supplies and availability.
“What we are inheriting is so much worse than we could have imagined,” said Jeff Zients, the White House’s new Covid-19 response coordinator.
Mr Biden will be attending the on Thursday morning Opening prayer by the virtual president. Because of the pandemic, he and Vice President Kamala Harris will watch the service from the Blue Room of the White House, officials said. After that, they are supposed to receive the daily message prepared for the president, and then they will quickly turn to the virus. Mr Biden talks about the pandemic and signs about a dozen related executive orders in the afternoon, including mask-wearing and more.
Local officials have expressed hope that the Biden government will ramp up vaccine production to make second doses available to the expanded pool of eligible people. Production of the US-approved Moderna and Pfizer vaccines is in full swing and it is not clear whether the government could significantly expand the overall supply in the near future.
Although Mr Biden has indicated that his administration would release more doses as they become available and keep fewer in reserve, he said Friday that he will not change the recommended timing for second doses: 21 days after the first dose for Pfizer’s vaccine and 28 days for Moderna. “We believe it is important that everyone receives two doses within the FDA recommended time frame,” said Biden while discussing his vaccine distribution plans.
The 12 supply shortages identified by the Biden team include N95 surgical masks and isolation gowns, swabs, reagents, and pipettes used for testing – shortages that have haunted the nation for nearly a year. Jen Psaki, the new White House press secretary, told reporters Wednesday night that Mr. Biden was “absolutely obliged” to invoke the Defense Production Act, a Korean War-era law, to strengthen supplies.
Mr Biden also signed executive orders on Wednesday to reverse the Trump administration’s political initiatives for signature, including ordering officials to stand up for upholding the program of delayed action on the arrival of children that hundreds of thousands of people do who came to the country as small children from deportation. He re-committed the United States to the Paris Agreement, the international agreement to avert catastrophic global warming.
Another order he signed Wednesday requires that masks be worn on all federal properties and by all federal employees. He urged all Americans to take these most basic precautions for 100 days.
When Mr Biden talks about his government’s plan to fight the virus on Thursday, he will a national strategy This promises to harness the broad powers of the federal government, including the aggressive use of executive powers to protect workers, promote racial justice in responding to pandemics, and increase the production of test kits, vaccines and consumables.
The “National Strategy for Responding to Covid-19 and Preparing for Pandemics,” unveiled Wednesday night by Mr Biden’s advisors, is an attempt to present a highly coordinated response from the federal government, Democrats and some public experts Healthcare has long called for and rejected by Mr Trump in favor of a state-controlled approach. The speed at which the Biden team can put the plan into action is unclear, partly due to inadequate cooperation from the previous administration and partly due to the inherent limitations of the private sector’s production capacity, which will take some time Remedy.
Biden’s government inherits a pandemic-ravaged economy and is also looking to extend a federal eviction moratorium. She has called on the authorities to extend a moratorium on foreclosures on government-guaranteed mortgages. Mr Biden will need the cooperation of Congress, where the Democrats now control both chambers, to push through a $ 1.9 trillion bailout.