Okay, so Joe Biden is going to be the next President to tackle COVID-19. But how? What is his plan?
In a speech on Tuesday, December 8, President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office in a little over a month, announced a three-part-plan to combat COVID-19, a crisis that has only worsened as the winter months have taken hold, as gatherings begin to take place inside, and as COVID fatigue sets in across the country, leading people to engage in risky behaviors and potentially harm themselves and others. Cases have continued to explode all over the country. Unlike the first few months of the pandemic, there are no regional “hotspots” of the disease — the spread is ubiquitous all across the country.
Luckily, the end of the pandemic is somewhat in sight, in the sense that there is an end that is sort of visible and the vaccine has begun to be distributed in parts of the world, most notably in Britain, where a pair of 90-year-olds went viral for their disparate and equally lovable reactions to getting vaccinated. But just because vaccines have started to roll out doesn’t mean we’re close to ending this pandemic and returning to normal life. Vaccine shortages caused by preventable governmental malfeasance, the two-dose vaccine schedule, and fears of mass refusal to get vaccinated could slow down our return to normal life. Some experts suggest “normalcy” won’t be a thing until 2022.
“My first 100 days won’t end the COVID-19 virus, I can’t promise that. But we did not get into this mess quickly, we’re not going to get out of it quickly — it’s going to take some time. But I’m absolutely convinced that in 100 days we can change the course of the disease and change life in America for the better,” Biden said.
Nationwide Mask Wearing
Joe Biden will call on every American to wear a mask during the first 100 days of his administration. It’s unclear if it will be a federal mask requirement, bound by law. But this is one part of his plan to help bring down COVID cases everywhere, and it’s backed by science. Mask wearing has been linked with far fewer cases of COVID-19 in regions where it’s widely adopted.
“We need your help,” Biden said in the speech. “Wear a mask for just 100 days. It’s the easiest thing you can do to reduce COVID cases, hospitalizations, and death. Help yourself, your family, and your community. Whatever your politics or point of view, mask up for 100 days once we take office.”
100 Million Vaccinations
Biden plans on, in his first 100 days, administering 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations. It’s unclear if that will be 100 million people — the vaccines are done in two doses, so it could be 50 million people vaccinated or 100 million people given their first doses — but it’s likely to mean 50 million people. His commitment to that plan is, however, dependent on Congress.
“We’re going to need Congress to fully fund vaccine distribution to all corners of the country, to everyone,” Biden said. Without said action, “there’s a real chance that after an early round of vaccinations, the effort will slow and stall.”
Opening a “Majority” Of Schools
One of Biden’s major priorities in the first 100 days of his administration is to get children back in school. He plans to open the majority of schools within the first 100 days. This is, once again, dependent on Congress’s participation in the matter.
“We need to protect students, educators, and staff. If states and cities put strong public health measures in place that we all follow, then my team will work to see that a majority of our schools can be open by the end of my first 100 days,” he said in the speech.