The brand new president of the United States, Joe Biden, launched on Thursday a “large-scale, wartime” plan to slow the advance of the coronavirus pandemic, which includes the obligation to quarantine for all passengers entering the country, and a tightening of the use of the chinstrap. In addition, it ratified its goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans in 100 days.
In the first hours of his administration, Biden signed a series of executive orders in the east dining room of the White House, flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris and medical adviser Anthony Fauci, who was also the highest scientific authority in Trump’s time and was removed when he began to contradict the then president with his opinions.
Measurements include new chinstrap wearing requirements on interstate planes, trains, and buses. In addition, it provides guidelines to keep workers safe from the pandemic and expand access to care and treatment against the virus.
The requirement for a coronavirus test to enter the country had already been ordered by the previous government, but isolation was only a recommendation. Now it will be mandatory.
The decree says that the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) must be complied with. According to this body, quarantines must be for at least ten days, or seven if a new test is done 3 or 4 days after arriving in the country.
In addition to isolation, people should monitor their body temperature and keep a log for possible Covid-19 symptoms. It is unclear how compliance with the quarantine would be controlled.
San Francisco International Airport in California, semi-desert by the pandemic. Travelers arriving in the US will have to quarantine. Photo: AFP
The main challenge
“History is going to measure whether we measure up,” declared Biden. With thousands of Americans dying every day from Covid-19, with more than 400,000 fatalities and a new strain that spreads quickly, the pandemic is the most important challenge of the first days of the democrat in power. As Biden himself has recognized, how you handle the health crisis will set the tone for how Americans will judge your government.
The plan marks a major departure from Trump’s approach, which from the beginning downplayed the importance of the disease and then delegated the controls initiative to the states and did not impose directives at the federal level.
It establishes the mandatory use of a chinstrap in places where the federal government can do it, something the previous president opposed. The use of the mask is a practice reviled by the majority of Trump supporters, especially in the interior of the country, because they see it as an interference of the State in their lives and a curtailment of their freedoms.
Joe Biden’s main proposals to fight the coronavirus. Photo: AFP
Despite all the scientific warnings, many do not believe that the virus is that contagious. Further, Trump himself refused to use it for a long time and celebrated his followers who went to campaign events without protection.
While airlines, the train system and other transportation require passengers to wear face masks, Biden’s executive order makes it a federal mandate, leaving little room for passengers tempted to argue about their rights.
Darts against Trump
Despite his repeated calls for unity, Biden couldn’t help but throw a dart at his predecessor, saying: “Over the past year we could not rely on the federal government to act with the urgency, focus and coordination that we needed, and we have seen the tragic cost of that failure. “
Biden also signed an executive order aimed at improving the collection, production, sharing and analysis of data on the virus in the United States and has asked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to publish clear guidance. about COVID-19 and decide whether to establish temporary emergency standards, among other things.
As he pointed out, another of the “priority” objectives of his government’s strategy against the pandemic is to restore the confidence of the Americans and there he once again secretly attacked Trump.
Expert Anthony Fauci will continue to advise the White House in the fight against the pandemic. Photo: REUTERS
“We will make sure that scientists and public health experts speak to them directly,” he said, adding that Americans will hear “much more” from Dr. Fauci and “not from the president but from real experts and scientists.”
Biden thus referred to the press conferences that Trump used to star in at the beginning of the pandemic, promoting the use of unapproved drugs like hydroxychloroquine and some crazy techniques like bleach injection.
Shortly after, Fauci diplomatically told a press conference about the difference between working for Biden now, after working for Trump: “You can come here and talk about what you know, about science, and that’s it. Let the science speak. It is a liberating feeling ”.
Biden will also seek to accelerate the vaccination process to meet his announced goal of vaccinating 100 million in the first 100 days of his term. For this, he announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will begin to coordinate with all states to provide help when they need it, both in the logistics of medical supplies necessary for hospital care and for vaccination campaign.
“This is a time of war. When I say that, there are people who look at me and ask: ‘wartime?’ Well, I said last night that 400,000 Americans have already died. That’s more than all those who died in World War II. This is a wartime effort, ”he said. Fauci said that reaching the goal was possible, although for some experts it is too optimistic.