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Biden issues slew of pandemic initiatives to improve vaccine distribution, expand testing and reopen schools

President Joe Biden's first full day in o...

Posted: Jan 21, 2021 9:57 AM

President Joe Biden's first full day in office Thursday will focus on getting the Covid-19 pandemic under control, 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.

The day after being sworn-in, Biden plans 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. And he is set to present some of his initiatives to the public at 2 p.m. ET and his press secretary and Dr. Anthony Fauci will answer questions at 4 p.m. ET.

Biden will 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 will 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 will direct 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 will direct 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 will 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 Wednesday making masks mandatory on federal property, Biden will also take 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 will also require international travelers to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test prior to traveling to the US.

Biden also plans to issue a presidential directive to restore America's leadership, support the international pandemic response effort, promote resilience for future threats, and advance global health security and the Global Health Security Agenda.

Newly-installed White House Covid coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters Wednesday that Biden's pandemic strategy will be "a fundamentally different approach from the Trump administration," and will be "driven by science, data, and public health" -- not politics.

CNN reported Thursday that Biden and his advisers are inheriting a nonexistent coronavirus vaccine distribution plan to speak of from the Trump administration, with sources telling CNN that they'll have to essentially "build everything from scratch."

"For almost a year now, Americans could not look to the federal government for any strategy, let alone a comprehensive approach to respond to COVID. And we've seen the tragic costs of that failure. As President Biden steps into office today that, that'll change tomorrow," Zients said Wednesday.

After his swearing-in ceremony Wednesday, Biden's first action as President was to impose a mask mandate on federal property. Biden also installed a coronavirus response coordinator to oversee the White House's efforts to distribute vaccines and medical supplies. He also signed an executive order halting US withdrawal from the World Health Organization.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154554

Reported Deaths: 2204
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31785528
Washington21060212
Marion18335285
Clackamas13310175
Lane10172126
Jackson8299111
Umatilla763181
Deschutes591859
Yamhill375964
Linn356556
Malheur334358
Polk302942
Klamath277455
Douglas242853
Benton231816
Josephine231649
Jefferson195028
Coos142519
Union127519
Columbia124321
Wasco122026
Lincoln112820
Hood River106329
Morrow104414
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6487
Curry4166
Tillamook4122
Lake3746
Harney2726
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3554629

Reported Deaths: 51395
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles118754221106
Riverside2891853749
San Bernardino2853342673
Orange2603483889
San Diego2589823260
Santa Clara1098411765
Kern102627811
Fresno947941412
Sacramento929441464
Alameda800881224
Ventura77238834
San Joaquin665691082
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus55775944
Tulare47784746
Monterey42138327
San Mateo38763515
San Francisco34061398
Santa Barbara31763407
Solano29968164
Merced28915395
Sonoma27954298
Imperial26843589
Kings21951218
Placer19713231
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15390209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12760185
Shasta10944174
Butte10915160
El Dorado9095100
Napa897668
Sutter884597
San Benito574359
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Tuolumne394659
Nevada393274
Mendocino379643
Amador344441
Humboldt316033
Lake313440
Glenn221023
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128736
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3947
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
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