President-Elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Plans
By Bellevue’s Julie Platt
During the Presidential transition, Bellevue Strategies will be spotlighting President-elect Joe Biden’s different policy platforms that will impact our clients. Although many of these plans may not become law, they give us an understanding of how the President-elect will govern.
This week we will be focusing on President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 plans.
If you have any suggestions for what you like us to cover, please email Julie Platt.
I. President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 Task Force:On Monday, President-elect Biden announced his COVID-19 task force. The task force will be co-chaired by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith of Yale University and Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, chair of the Department of Bioethics at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health and a professor at University of Pennsylvania.
Other task force members include Dr. Atul Gawande, a professor of surgery and health policy at Harvard, and Dr. Rick Bright, the vaccine expert and whistleblower who resigned his post with the Trump administration last month.
At the moment, the task force is unable to coordinate with government agencies due to the fact that President Trump has not yet conceded the race.
II. President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 testing plan: Scientists agree that currently the United States testing capacity is not sufficient enough to combat COVID-19, especially during the winter months. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the United States testing capacity has been plagued with problems such as bottlenecks and limited supplies. Medical officials say we need millions more tests a day nationwide to make a meaningful dent in the pandemic.
President-elect Biden’s goals include increasing testing locations, specifically double the number of drive-thru sites and pushing for the development of at-home test kits. To do this the President-elect will create a testing board like Roosevelt’s War Production Board. In addition, he wants to create a “nationwide pandemic dashboard” that will let Americans monitor virus transmission in their zip code – work that’s currently being done at the local level but is often difficult to find and decipher.
Last, President-elect Biden COVID-19 plan calls for establishing a U.S. Public Health Jobs Corps that will mobilize at least 100,000 Americans across the county to perform culturally component approaches to contact tracing.
III. Increase personal production equipment (PPE) President-elect Biden has pledged to fully use the Defense Production Act to ramp up the production of PPE. Additionally, his admission will work to produce and manufacture PPE in the United States to ensure we are not dependent on other countries in a crisis.
IV. Business, schools, and local governments COVID In order to help state and local governments that are facing budget shortfalls. President-elect Biden’s plan will establish a renewable fund. Instead of state by state COVID-19 mitigation plans, Biden’s plan will direct the CDC to provide specific evidence-based guidance for when business and schools need to close. This will be based on the level of risk and degree of viral spread in a community.
To help small businesses, Biden’s admission will provide a “restart package” that helps small businesses cover the costs of operating safely, including things like plexiglass and PPE.
Lastly, Biden will call on congress to pass an emergency packet to ensure schools have the resources to open safely.
V. Vaccine Distribution The Biden-Harris administration will invest $25 billion in a vaccine manufacturing and distribution plan. Any FDA approved vaccine will have to publicially release its clinic data for the public.
VI. International relations The Biden-Harris administration will restore our relationship with the World Health organization.
In order to mitigate and prevent long-term pandemic threats, the administration will expand the number of CDC’s deployed disease detectives on the ground in other countries, including rebuilding the office in Beijing.