With the American presidential election completed and former Vice President Joe Biden officially named President Elect, the American public is now looking to the new Biden-Harris Administration for clues on how they plan to handle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic crisis.
As case numbers continue to spike across the nation, Americans have become restless and eager to return back to normal, despite the increasing risk. The focus is now on the upcoming Biden-Harris Administration to see how they plan to combat the pandemic and return economic prosperity to the nation.
Here’s a look at what we know so far:
More Testing and Increased Communication
One of the first ways that the Biden-Harris Administration will approach the pandemic differently is by increasing the communication with the American public. Other countries, like South Korea, have implemented dashboards that report daily case numbers and news of outbreaks.
The new administration plans to follow that lead. It plans a ‘Nationwide Pandemic Dashboard’ to track outbreaks across the country, making it easier to keep an eye on transmission rates. Additionally, the Biden Administration plans to ramp up access to testing, doubling the amount of drive-thru testing sites.
It also plans to implement a Pandemic Testing Board, along the lines of Franklin Roosevelt’s War Production Board, focused on producing and distributing COVID-19 tests. As many as 100,000 contact tracers are also to be mobilized, helping to track those that have been in contact with someone who tests positive and encourage quarantining.
Rejoining WHO and Bringing Back PREDICT
The Trump Administration has begun the formal process of withdrawing from WHO (World Health Organization) and additionally allowed the pathogen-tracking program PREDICT to end. However, Biden Administration has pledged to re-establish PREDICT and rejoin the WHO. Biden has also noted that he plans to expand the CDC’s reach overseas, in the hopes that disease detectives will be able to help predict future threats.
More PPE and Investment in Vaccines and Treatment
Healthcare workers have been working during the pandemic despite a crisis-level lack of personal protective equipment (PPE). The Biden Administration plans to help replenish the nation’s stores of supplies, with a focus on American-made products to decrease dependence on foreign nations for supplies.
Biden also plans to work with mayors and governors to mandate mask-wearing in public, since most data supports the idea that if more Americans wore masks, lives would be saved. With multiple vaccines in the clinical trials stage, the Biden Administration has also promised to invest as much as $25 billion dollars to help manufacture and distribute vaccines to all individuals in the United States free of charge.