Ahead of two days of executive orders, President Biden has announced his national plan to counter the coronavirus pandemic, with an additional emphasis on advancing “equity.”
The 46th commander-in-chief will sign 10 executive orders over the course of Thursday and Friday to set his administration’s COVID response strategy in motion.
In launching its strategy, the White House said that it had seven priorities, one of which was “Protecting those most at risk and advancing equity, including across racial, ethnic and rural/urban lines.”
The plan says the federal government will “establish a national response structure for COVID-19 where science and equity drive decision-making.”
“In preparation for future threats, further objectives include “Restoring faith with the American people,” a vaccination campaign, mitigating virus spread, expanding emergency relief, reopening society, and “restoring U.S. leadership internationally.
The most prominent of the orders Biden would sign is the one invoking the Defense Production Act, which allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to compel the production of materials needed in a national emergency by private US companies.
In March 2020, the Trump White House invoked the Defense Procurement Act to manufacture masks, personal protective equipment and ventilators for N95.
Other directions to be released by Biden include the establishment of a pandemic testing board based solely on expanding the availability of tests nationally, with an emphasis on schools, as well as requiring the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services to provide federal reopening guidance, “with the aim of safely opening most K-8 schools in 100 days.”
The newly sworn-in leader would also guide agencies to provide those who lack health insurance with all coronavirus testing free of charge. The order also helps to ‘clarify the duty of insurers to cover research.’
As part of the plan, Biden will also sign some executive steps.
Executive orders are legally binding and are recorded in the Federal Register as a consequence of this. In comparison, executive orders are most often symbolic attempts to implement reform.
Some of the executive actions that Biden will sign include one deploying FEMA within a month to create 100 community vaccination sites and impose a mask mandate on interstate transport, affecting those travelling by air, rail, and possibly by road.
Biden will also fully restore federal support to the pandemic response effort of the National Guard in another step, after the Trump administration cut the funding of most states by 25 percent last summer.
Just hours after his inauguration on Wednesday, 17 acts, 15 of which were orders, were signed by the 46th president.
The travel ban on countries with heightened terror concerns, as well as the building of the southern border wall, immediately stopped both measures.