Biden to sign 10 executive orders to tackle Covid

  • 1 month ago


President Joe Biden is set to sign 10 executive orders to boost the fight against Covid which has ravaged the US.


Vaccination will be accelerated, and testing increased. Emergency legislation will be used to increase production of essentials like masks.

In a break with former President Donald Trump, the policy stresses a national strategy rather than relying on states to decide what is best.

The moves comes a day after Mr Biden was sworn in as the 46th president.

What's in the plan?

In his inauguration speech, Mr Biden warned that the coronavirus pandemic in the US was entering its "deadliest period".

Mr Biden's Covid-19 task force co-ordinator, Jeff Zients, told reporters that under Mr Trump there was no strategy at federal level and a comprehensive approach was lacking.

"As President Biden steps into office today, that all changes," he said.

The plan itself says: "The National Strategy provides a roadmap to guide America out of the worst public health crisis in a century."

The aim is to give 100 million vaccine doses by the end of April, and reopen most schools safely within 100 days.

There will be more funding for state and local officials to help tackle the pandemic, and a new office will be established to co-ordinate the response to the pandemic

The Defense Production Act will be used to speed up production of personal protective equipment and essential supplies needed for vaccine production. Mr Trump invoked the same act last year to compel production of items in short supply.

Vaccine centres will be established at stadiums and community facilities.

"What we're inheriting is so much worse than we could have imagined," Mr Zients said.

In a further break with the previous administration, Mr Biden's chief medical adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci, said the US would join the Covax scheme designed to deliver Covid vaccines to poor countries.

Speaking by video call to the World Health Organization in Geneva, Dr Fauci also stressed that the US would remain a member of the WHO, reversing Mr Trump's decision to leave.

What happened on Wednesday?

Only hours after being sworn in, Mr Biden signed 15 executive orders, including reversing Mr Trump's policies on climate change and immigration.

His inauguration was unlike any other due to coronavirus restrictions, with few present to witness the oaths and ceremonies.

Donald Trump, who has still not formally conceded the presidency to Mr Biden, snubbed the event in a departure from longstanding tradition.