US President Joe Biden has signed several executive orders to boost the United States’ fight against the coronavirus. According to the BBC, vaccination against the virus is to be speeded up and testing is to be increased. The production of essentials such as masks is also to be increased using Emergency legislation.
Biden signed the executive orders on Thursday, his first full day in office. He had announced 10 measures, claiming the virus would take months to defeat, but that America would “get through this” if it stood united. His policy emphasized a national strategy regarding the pandemic, instead of leaving the different states to make independent decisions.
Meanwhile, Biden was to sign two more executive orders on Friday to assist those struggling with the economic toll of the pandemic. According to the BBC, the measures are expected to increase food aid and grant further protections to federal workers. He warned, however, that he expected the COVID-19 death toll to top half a million by next month, saying, “Let me be clear – things will continue to get worse before they get better.” Biden said that more Americans had already died in the pandemic than in World War Two, adding, regarding the new pandemic policies, “This is a wartime undertaking.”
The new president of the US called America’s roll out of the vaccine a “dismal failure so far.” He said his plan was for 100 million vaccine shots to be administered within his first 100 days in office was one of the greatest operational challenges the US has taken on. Meanwhile, according to the BBC, about 16.5 million shots have been administered thus far.
The BBC reports that although executive orders do not require congressional approval, Biden will need co-operation from the Senate and House of Representatives for the package to be adopted smoothly.
In contrast with former US President Donald Trump’s decision, the US is to now continue to provide funding for the World Health Organization.
The US is the worst-hit country with over 406 000 lives lost to the virus, and 24.5 million infections.
Umm Muhammed Umar