Washington: President Joe Biden launched initiatives on Thursday to rein in the raging COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, tackling his top priority on his first full day in the White House as he seeks to change course from former President Donald Trump’s governing style.
The plan, named the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, hopes to “rebuild the trust of the American people” and “the National Strategy will signal clear public leadership and a commitment to a robust whole-of-government response that puts science first”, the White House said in a statement.
The White House statement lists the goals of Biden’s plan:
- Restore trust with the American people.
- Mount a safe, effective, and comprehensive vaccination campaign.
- Mitigate spread through expanding mask-wearing, testing, treatments, data, the healthcare workforce, and clear public health standards.
- Immediately expand emergency relief and exercise the Defense Production Act.
- Safely reopen schools, businesses and travel while protecting workers.
- Protect those most at risk and advance equity, including across racial, ethnic and rural/urban lines.
- Restore US leadership globally and build better preparedness for future threats.
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed at least 406,196 people in the US, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. There have been over 24,500,000 confirmed cases since the pandemic began.
Trump faced criticism for what some call a “botched” response to the pandemic and vaccine roll-out. The US aimed to administer 20 million vaccines before 2021, but only gave 2.8 million.