Presidential candidate Joe Biden said that he planned to approach the global coronavirus pandemic differently from President Trump. After passing the threshold of 270 electoral votes on Saturday, the president-elect underscored his strategy.
Biden announced on Sunday that he will name a coronavirus task force to help battle COVID-19 as numbers of U.S. cases hit records for a fourth consecutive day.
A Reuters news story reported that the task force will include 12 members. According to two people familiar with the matter, there will be three co-chairs: former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler, and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate professor of medicine and of epidemiology at Yale University.
“That plan will be built on a bedrock of science,” Biden said, adding that he will “spare no effort – or commitment – to turn this pandemic around.”
Biden is expected to rapidly institute the plan when he takes office on Jan. 20. Among the ideas at the forefront: Make testing much more accessible – and free. Improve and expand the contact tracing programs across the country. Re-establish the CDC’s real-time dashboard tracking virus-related hospital admissions.
He also has promised to quickly launch a national plan to distribute personal protective equipment to healthcare workers and first responders.
Biden’s efforts to restore an amicable working environment with the worldwide health community also includes rejoining the World Health Organization, from which Trump began to withdraw in July.
“I think the United States would rejoin WHO on the 21st of January. I think you can put that on your calendar,” said Dr. Eric Toner, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in a USA Today story.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there were 127,399 new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. on Saturday, bringing the total to nearly 9.9 million cases since the pandemic began earlier this year. More than 1,000 people died Saturday, bring the national toll to approximately 237,000.