The Biden Administration releases plan to beat COVID-19

Alex Hopper, News Editor

President Biden and Vice President Harris have released their $1.9 trillion plan to beat COVID-19.

“Joe Biden has been laser-focused on the threat that COVID-19 has posed to our nation,” said the Biden/Harris team in a statement on their official website. 

The package has been named “The American Rescue Plan,” with $400 billion being devoted to combating the pandemic and the rest focused on economic relief. 

The “American Rescue Plan” is a multi-faceted package that will tackle COVID-19 testing, PPE, distribution of vaccines, protecting at risk Americans, and rebuilding defenses dismantled by the Trump administration.   

Immediately following the inauguration Biden set this plan in motion by signing an executive order for a mask mandate on all federal property. 

The mask mandate will continue for 100 days to hopefully bring down the numbers of positive cases. 

The rest of the plan will be enacted in the weeks to come.

The next steps include doubling the amount of drive-through testing centers and ensuring the equitable distribution of vaccines throughout the country.  

Biden believes that a strong course of action is essential to end  a “once-in-several generations” economic and public health crisis. 

“A crisis of deep human suffering in plain sight,” said Biden. “We have to act, and we have to act now. We can’t afford inaction.”

The state of the pandemic is at an all time high in the U.S.

The number of deaths due to COVID-19 have risen to 402 thousand with the highest number of deaths in one day being 4,327 on Jan. 12.

According to the COVID Tracking Project, almost 129,000 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19.  

Along with this, unemployment is at an all time high since Aug. with nearly 1 million people filing for unemployment as reported by the Washington Post. 

To combat this, Biden will use the Defense Protection Act to increase the manufacturing and administering of vaccines. 

Increasing vaccinations are a pivotal part of Biden’s plan. 

He has called the current distribution of vaccines a “dismal failure.”

Over 30 million doses were distributed by the Trump Administration to states, but only about 11 million have been administered according to the CDC. 

The Biden Administration will take an aggressive approach to distributing the vaccine to hopefully close that gap. 

Biden hopes to vaccinate 100 million people during his first 100 days in office.

“This is going to be one of the most challenging efforts ever undertaken by the country, but you have my word, we will manage the hell out of this operation,” said Biden. 

“We’ll have to move heaven and earth to get more people vaccinated,” said Biden. “To create more places for them to get vaccinated…to get it out the door as fast as possible.”

Biden is also pushing for the reopening of schools by donating $130 billion for safety precautions.

School closing and transitions to online learning became abundant in the past year as a response to the virus. 

Biden hopes to restore education while also keeping students and educators safe. 

“We’ll also do everything we can to keep our educators and students safe, to safely reopen the majority of our K-8 schools by the end of the first 100 days,” said Biden. 

Biden has stated he will provide schools with guidance on safely reopening and expanded resources such as testing, additional sanitation, and improved ventilation. 

To further strengthen the country’s ability to fight the pandemic, Biden calls for the hiring of 100,000 additional public health workers for testing and vaccinations. 

These hirings will focus mainly in low-income and underserved communities. 

Lastly, in light of the global pandemic Biden hopes to “restore U.S. leadership globally” and begin working with other countries again to coordinate efforts against COVID-19. 

During the previous administration, Trump lessened America’s global leadership by withdrawing from the World Health Organization. 

Overall, Biden states his plan is to listen to science, ensure public health decisions are informed by health professionals, and restore trust and accountability in the government.

With his plan, Biden reiterates that beating the virus will take time. 

“We’re better equipped to do this than any nation in the world,” said Biden. “But, even with all these small steps, it’s going to take time.”

Though COVID-19 is far from over, with the Biden Administration’s plan the U.S. could begin to see the beginnings of returning to normalcy.