President Biden discusses coronavirus pandemic response
President Biden is discussing his national strategy to fight COVID-19. Biden had previously announced his plan includes aggressive use of executive authority to protect workers, advance racial equity and ramp up manufacturing of test kits, vaccines and supplies.
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The military personnel from all across the federal state, local agencies that secured yesterday's inaugural activities and a special thanks to the members of the National Guard from around the country. It was an unprecedented situation. Hope we never have to be renewed again. And everyone handle with the most professionalism and duty and honor that you could be expected. The president as president, As commander in chief, I always respect and revere their service and that of their families. But now to today's announcement, Vice President Harris and I were joined by members of our Cova 19 team response team and Dr Tony Fauci, our Chief Covad medical adviser. Javier Sarah Excuse May, our nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr Vivek Murthy, our nominee for surgeon general Dr. Rochelle Wolinski. Uh, she's gonna be the director for the Centers for Disease Control Prevention and Dr Marcela Nunes Smith, who will be leading our equity work and the covert response, and Jeff Science and Natalie Quillin, who are managing this whole effort. Yesterday yesterday, during my inaugural address, I offered a salient prayer and of silent prayer. It was most salient and silent. I thought it was important that people understand what had happened, that we all pay tribute to the our prayers for those 400,000 Americans who have lost their lives in this pandemic. On Tuesday, Jill and I, common and Doug, we stood at the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial enjoying Americans all across the country to remember those 400,000 moms and dads, husbands and wives, Children, sons, daughters. And I said at that moment that to heal, we must remember Thio heal. We must remember it's important to do that as a nation when we must also act, though not just remember. Yet. For the past year, we couldn't rely on the federal government to act with the urgency and focus and coordination we needed. And we have seen the tragic cost of that failure 3 to 4000 deaths per day. To date, more than 24 million Americans 24 million Americans have been infected. To put that in context, America makes up 4% of the world's population but 25% of the world's confirmed cove in 19 cases and only 20% off all the covert 19 deaths when we have 4% of the world's population, the pandemic lee, the de pandemic Excuse me has disproportionately impacted on blacks, Latinos and Native Americans, who are about four times as likely to be hospitalized in nearly three times more likely to die from the Koven, 19 fanned emmick than white Americans. Hospitals air out of beds, businesses air close for good schools, air caught in between. And while the vaccine provides so much hope, the rollout has been a dismal failure thus far. So I understand the despair and frustration of so many Americans and how they're feeling. I understand why many governors, mayors, county officials, tribal leaders feel like they're left on their own without a clear national plan to get them through the crisis. Let me be very clear. Things were going to continue to get worse before they get better. The Memorial we way, held two nights ago, will not be our last one. Unfortunately, the death toll will likely top 500,000 next month. The cases will continue to mount. We didn't get into this mess overnight. That's gonna take months for us to turn things around. But let me be equally clear. We will get through this. We will defeat this pandemic and to a nation waiting for action. Let me be the clearest on this point. Help is on the way today. Today I am unveiling a national strategy on covert 19, an executive actions to beat this pandemic. This plan reflects the ideas I set forward during the campaign and further refined over the past three months. It consists of my transition's team's, the task force, Tony Fauci and the team here today, and other experts put this plan together. Our national strategy is comprehensive. It's based on science, not politics. It's based on truth, not denial, and it's detailed. You could review this entire plan this entire plan by going to white house dot gov. It is so detailed it is over 101 198 pages and complete detail what we're going to do. Our plan starts with mounting an aggressive, safe and effective vaccination campaign to meet our goal of administering 100 million shots and our 1st 100 days in office. We're on day one. This will be one of the greatest operational challenges our nation has ever undertaken. I'm committed to getting it done. We're committed to getting in town, and I explained, as I explained last week, will move heaven and earth to get more people vaccinated for free and create more places for them to get vaccinated, to mobilize MAWR medical teams to get shots in people's arms and to increase vaccine supply and get it out the door as's fastest possible yesterday, we got started. We directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA to start standing up the first federally supported community vaccination centers, with the goal of standing up 100 centers. Within the next month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will launch the federal pharmacy program to make vaccines available to communities and their local pharmacies, beginning earlier within the I think, by the seventh or eighth of February. But in very early February, will also tasked the Department of Health and Human Services to prepare and expand the pool of medical professionals who can administer the vaccine, who can administer the vaccine and ensure we have enough vaccinators, the people doing the vaccines to meet the nation's needs and quickly. In addition to this effort, our administration will be asking Congress to fund for the funds to grow the public health workforce. We also going to take immediate steps to partner with governors, mayors and other local officials who we've been talking to all along who are in the front lines of this fight. We direct redirected FEMA to establish a covert response liaison for each state, which means every state will have a point person at the federal level to maximize cooperation between the federal government and the states, and where it falls short to be made known about it may be made known immediately. This is a model we used to respond to Hurricane Hurricane Sandy, which I was deeply involved with. And in just a few moments I'm going to sign a declaration toe immediately, begin reimbursing states 100% for the use of their national guards to help covert relief efforts, something Democrats and Republican governors alike have called for. But the brutal truth is it's going to take months before we could get the majority of Americans vaccinated. So while we increase vaccinations, we're gonna take steps necessary now to slow. The spread of the disease is well, one of our 100 day challenges is asking the American people to mask up for the 1st 100 days the next 99 days. The Mass could become a partisan issue, unfortunately, but it's a patriotic act, but for a few months, toe wear a mask, no vaccines. The fact is that the single best thing we could do they even more important than the vaccines because they take time to work and if we do. This is Americans, the experts say, by wearing a mask from now until April, we'd save more than 50,000 lives going forward 50,000 lives. So I'm asking every American to mask up for the next 100 days. Yesterday I signed an executive action that requires mask and social distancing on federal property. Today will be signed an additional executive action to extend masking requirements on interstate travel, like on trains, planes and Busses and in light of the new covert variants that where you're learning about, we are where we are. We're instituting now, a new measure for individuals flying into the United States from other countries. In addition to wear a mask. Everyone flying to the United States from another country when they do test before they get on that plane before they depart and quarantine when they arrive in America, our national plan launches a full scale war time effort to address the supply shortages by ramping up production and protective equipment, syringes, needles, you name it when I say wartime people kind of look at me like more time was. I said last night. 400,000 Americans have died. That's more than have died in all of World War two, 400,000. This is a war time undertaking. Today I'm signing an executive action to use the Defense Production Act and all other available authorities to direct all federal agencies and private industry. To accelerate the making of everything is needs to protect, test, vaccinate and take care of our people. Well, we've already identified suppliers and we're working with them on the move the plan forward. Now, look, our strategy includes ah, plan to safely reopened schools and businesses while protecting our workers. Today, we're directing the Department of Education in the Department of Health and Human Services to immediately provide schools and communities with clear guidance. And resource is to safely reopen the schools and childcare centers we're putting. And by the way, when you do that, I think of all the people can get back to work, be able to get back to work all the mothers and single fathers of staying home, taking care of their Children. We're gonna put the full force of the federal government behind expanding testing by launching a covert 19 pandemic testing board. This effort will ensure that we get testing to where it is needed, where it's needed most helping schools and businesses reopened safely on protecting the most vulnerable, like those who live in long term long term care facilities and for the millions of workers, many of whom are people of color immigrants and low wage workers who continue to put their lives on the line to keep this country going through the pandemic. I'm calling for the enforcement of a more stringent workers safety standards so that you are better protected from this virus while you have to continue to work to protect. Our plan also protects those most at risk and works for everyone of all races and urban and rural communities alike. Today, I'm formalizing the health equity task force that we announced in the transition led by the brilliant doctor Marcela Nunes Smith, who ensures that is going to ensure that equality is at the core of every decision we make. That includes addressing vaccine hesitancy and building trust in communities, as well as fighting disinformation campaigns that are already underway. Above all, our plan is to restore public trust. We will make sure that science and public scientists and public health experts we'll speak directly to you. That's why you're going to hear a lot more from Dr Fauci again, not from the president, but from the rial, genuine experts and scientists. We're gonna make sure they work free from political interference. They make decisions strictly based on science and health care alone, science and health alone, not what the political consequences are. The Vice President Harris and I and our entire administration will always be honest and transparent with you about both the good news and the bad. We will level with you when we make a mistake. Well, straight up say what happened. And I said at the outset, The honest truth is we're still in a dark winner of this pandemic. It's going to get worse before it gets better. It's going to take many months to get where we need to be. Progress of our plan will take time to measure as people getting infected today, they don't show up. Case counts for weeks. And those who perished from this disease die weeks after their exposure. Despite the best intentions, we're gonna face setbacks which I will always explain to you. But I also But I also know we can do this if we come together, that's why. Ultimately our plan is based on unity and all of us acting as one nation. It requires families and neighbors looking out for one another, health care providers and business and civic and religious and civil rights organizations and unions all relying together on a common purpose with urgency and purpose and resolve requires reasserting our global leadership. Which is why I took an action yesterday for the United States to rejoin the World Health Organization and to re establish our global pandemic office in the National Security Council. It requires Congress coming together to provide the necessary funding in the covert relief package and the American rescue plan that I will soon be sending to the Congress. I know these bold practical steps will not come cheaply, but failing to do so will cost us so much more dearly. I look forward to working with members of both parties in the Congress. We're in a national emergency. It's time we treat it like one together, the national plan as the United States of America. As I said yesterday in my inaugural address, there are moments in history when more is asked of a particular generation, more baskets as Americans and other times we are in that moment now. History is going to measure whether we're up to the task. I believe we are. The American people have given so much already, but I believe they're ready to set big goals and pursue them with courage, conviction and honesty. Because the health of the nation is literally at stake. It's not hyperbole. I'm convinced the American people already is well to spare. No effort, no expense to get this done. What could be more important? Mawr people we vaccinate and the faster we do it, the sooner we can put this pandemic behind us, the sooner we can build our economy back and build it back better and get back to our lives into our loved ones. We could do this. We can do this if we stand together this fellow Americans as the united and as the United States of America. So God bless those lost souls in this pandemic and their families all they left behind. May God bless all of you on the front lines. Who defined the best of who we are as Americans. Thank you very much. Now I'm gonna go to this desk and sign these executive actions. But again, this is the plan. This is the plan. You can go online and get it. I know it's a lot of heavy reading, but it's all laid out in stark detail here. Thank you. Okay. This executive order I'm signing is strengthen his supply chain. This next one is keeping workers safe. How do you do that took me this next one is ensuring equitable response. Guess I should take this out this way. Pins were gonna pop. You Give me a hand here, sir. Okay. This next one is what I referenced about traveling America. This is the promoting safe travel. Mr. Messman is setting up the pandemic testing. Thank you. This next one is studying safe school permission. This next one is dictating the CO va data that has to be maintained on recorded. Next one is making sure that the National Guard FEMA support is available. This next home relates to expanding access to care treatment for Koba 19. Last one is our global response director. Mr. President. He said thank you are higher. That's basically where the U. S. Is right now. When I announced that you all said it's not possible. Come on, give me a break, man. A good thing tonight. Various. Here, you