This article was updated on November 11, 2020.
Joe Biden released a plan for how he plans to tackle COVID-19 if he is elected president. It would be a drastic change and a more hands-on approach compared to the Trump administration’s handling of the virus. But will he be able to implement it all?
Biden plans to make wearing masks a national mandate, nationalize COVID-19 testing, allow for nationwide personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement, revamp reopening guidelines and set a plan for distributing a vaccine nationally.
With the current COVID-19 plan being scattered from state to state, the effort to combat coronavirus has been fragmented. According to Dr. Amanda D. Castel, MPH, “I think in general, the ‘Achilles heel’ in our response has been a lack of federal strategy to guide us through this pandemic.”
Biden’s focus would be on the coronavirus plan even before his inauguration. Biden’s plan entails these important points:
- Ask each state governor to impose a mask mandate.
- Launch a national coronavirus testing plan which would administer around 7 million tests each day. Biden promises to invest $25 billion more to make and distribute vaccines to everyone in the US for free. The goal is to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines by January 2021.
- Use the Defense Production Act to drive domestic manufacturing of masks, gloves, and other PPE. The Biden team made note that the personal protective equipment for health care workers will be a top priority.
- Set out reopening guidelines by providing “consistent, reliable, trusted, detailed nationwide guidance and technical support for reopening safely and the resources to make it happen.”
- Provide for widespread vaccine delivery, when it is certain a vaccine is safe to use.
- Protect older adults, racial minorities, and those most at risk.
- Improve the nation’s response to impending global health threats that could occur in the future.
- Increase testing and contact tracing. Experts say that the U.S. needs tens of millions of tests per day to keep the country open safely. Biden promises all Americans will have access to “regular, reliable, and free testing.”
- Rejoin the World Health Organization (WHO) and continue the proactive research of the global effort to cure COVID-19 and prevent future threats.
Biden’s plan would make the coronavirus response be more centralized rather than relying on each state to make its own rules. To see a full outline of Joe Biden’s plan for COVID-19, see his website.
Biden’s coronavirus advisory board
Biden’s transition team on Monday announced members of his coronavirus advisory board, which will be led by former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, former US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. David Kessler and Yale University’s Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith. Other members are Dr. Luciana Borio, Rick Bright, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Dr. Atul Gawande, Dr. Celine Gounder, Dr. Julie Morita, Michael Osterholm, Loyce Pace, Dr. Robert Rodriguez, and Dr. Eric Goosby. (Note: this does not mean that Trump’s White House coronavirus task force will not partake in matters.)