WASHINGTON – President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Thursday announced a series of new presidential ordinances and guidelines aimed at expediting the production of Covid-19 consumables, increasing testing capacity, and requiring masks to be worn during interstate travel – part He announced an extensive 200-page edition of the national pandemic strategy at an event in the White House.
Taken together, the orders signal Mr Biden’s earliest priorities to achieve a more central federal response to the spread of the coronavirus. Some of them reflect actions taken during the Trump administration, while most are trying to change course.
Here is the goal of the orders.
Speed up manufacturing and testing.
A mandate calls on those in charge of the authorities to look for bottlenecks in areas such as personal protective equipment and vaccine supply and to determine where the administration could apply the Defense Production Act to increase production. The White House has announced that it will use the Korean War-era law that the Trump administration used in its vaccine development program to increase production of a type of syringe that pharmacists can use to extract an extra dose from vaccine bottles.
The Biden team said they identified 12 “immediate supply shortages” critical to the pandemic response, including N95 surgical masks and isolation gowns, and swabs, reagents and pipettes used for testing.
“On the asymptomatic screening side, we are completely undercapacitive, so we need the money to really move the testing forward, which is so important for schools and businesses to reopen,” said Jeffrey D. Zients, the white’s new Covid-19 House response coordinator.
Another assignment sets up a pandemic testing board, an idea that came from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s War Production Board to advance testing. The new government promises to expand the country’s range of rapid tests and double tests, and expand the laboratory space for testing and monitoring for coronavirus hotspots.
“These efforts will ensure that we test where it is needed and where it is most needed, and help schools and businesses reopen safely and protect the most vulnerable, such as those living in long-term care facilities.” said Biden in his Thursday remarks.
A mask must be worn during interstate travel.
Mr. Biden has vowed to use his powers as President to influence the wearing of masks wherever legally entitled, including on federal property and when traveling across state lines. An order issued on Thursday requires masks to be worn at airports and on many planes, intercity buses and trains.
The same ordinance also requires international travelers to demonstrate that they recently had a negative coronavirus test before traveling to the U.S. and adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Quarantine guidelines after landing.
Build better data acquisition systems.
On a mandate, the Secretary for Health and Human Services and the White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator are being asked to re-evaluate the federal government’s Covid-19 data collection systems and report on their findings. It also calls on the heads of “all executive departments and agencies” to collect and share coronavirus-related data.
The Biden Administration