Biden’s 3-part plan to tackle the coronavirus: Masks, vaccinations, opening schools

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President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday announced a three-part plan to combat the coronavirus pandemic in the first 100 days of his administration.

Biden, speaking in his hometown of Wilmington, Del., as he formally unveiled his team of top health officials, emphasized “masking, vaccinations, opening schools. These are the three key goals for my first 100 days.”

And the president-elect stressed, “I’m absolutely convinced that in 100 days we can change the course of the disease and change life in America for the better.”

Biden spelled out first the first time how he would implement his mask mandate, which he’s previously announced, for the first 100 days of his administration.

The president-elected explained that it will start with "my signing an order on day one to require masks where I can under the law, like federal buildings, interstate travel on planes, trains, and buses. I’ll also be working with the governors and mayors to do the same in their states and their cities. We’re going to require masks wherever possible.”

And Biden urged people to “help yourself, your family, your community. Whatever your politics or point of view — mask up for 100 days after we take office. A hundred days to make a difference. It’s not a political statement — it's a patriotic act.”

On vaccinations, Biden vowed that his “team will help get at least 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots into the arms of Americans in 100 days.”

He noted that “we will follow the guidance of scientists and get vaccines to those most at-risk. That includes health care personnel and people in long-term care; and, as soon as possible, that will include educators.” And he touted that “this will be the most efficient mass vaccination plan in U.S. history.”

On schools, Biden stressed that “it should be a national priority to get our kids back into school and keep them in school.”

And he said that “if Congress provides the funding we need to protect students, educators, and staff, and if states and cities put strong public health measures in place that we all follow, then my team will work to see that the majority of our schools can be open by the end of my first 100 days.”

Biden noted that he developed the three objectives in consultation with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top expert on infectious disease and the most well-known member of the current president’s coronavirus task force. Biden’s tapped Fauci to be his chief medical adviser on the coronavirus.

Nearly 285,000 deaths across the country have been tied to the coronavirus since the pandemic swept the nation in February and March, with more than 15 million cases of COVID-19. Most of the country has experience a surge in new cases and in hospitalizations over the past six weeks.

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