Biden will sign an order ramping up supplies for vaccination, testing and personal protective equipment and another boosting development of therapeutics to treat Covid-19.
Following through on his campaign proposals, Biden will sign two executive orders creating a National Pandemic Testing Board to improve US coronavirus testing capacity and a Covid-19 Health Equity Task Force to ensure an “equitable” pandemic response and recovery.
Another executive order will enhance the nation’s collection, production, sharing and analysis of data about the virus.
Biden will direct the Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services to provide guidance for safe reopening and operating of schools, childcare providers, and institutions of higher education.
He will issue an executive order calling on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to release clear guidance on Covid-19, decide whether to establish emergency temporary standards, and directs OSHA to enforce worker health and safety requirements.
Building on the order he signed Wednesday making masks mandatory on federal property, Biden will also take action to require facial coverings in airports and on certain modes of transportation, including many trains, planes, maritime vessels and intercity buses. Thursday’s executive order will also require international travelers to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test prior to traveling to the US.
Biden also plans to issue a presidential directive to restore America’s leadership, support the international pandemic response effort, promote resilience for future threats, and advance global health security and the Global Health Security Agenda.
Newly-installed White House Covid coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters Wednesday that Biden’s pandemic strategy will be “a fundamentally different approach from the Trump administration,” and will be “driven by science, data, and public health” — not politics.
“For almost a year now, Americans could not look to the federal government for any strategy, let alone a comprehensive approach to respond to COVID. And we’ve seen the tragic costs of that failure. As President Biden steps into office today that, that’ll change tomorrow,” Zients said Wednesday.