Published: Jan 22, 2021, 07.20 AM(IST)
President Biden warned Americans that the coronavirus death toll could climb to half a million next month as he unveiled new plans to fight the virus.
“We’re in a national emergency. It’s time we treated it like one,” the new US president said as he tightened mask-wearing guidelines and ordered quarantine for people flying into the United States.
The United States is the worst-hit country due to the virus with over 24.6 million cases and 409,667 fatalities. On wearing masks, Biden said it “has become a partisan issue, unfortunately, but it’s a patriotic act”, referring to ex-president Trump’s reluctance to wear masks.
Biden had earlier announced the goal of 100 million vaccines to be administered across the nation in the next 100 days. The US president has already signed ten virus-related executive orders.
“Today, today, I am unveiling a national strategy on COVID-19 and 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 team, 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,” the US president asserted.
We’ll move heaven and earth to get more people vaccinated for free and create more places for them to get vaccinated, to mobilize more medical teams to get shots in people’s arms and to increase vaccine supply and get it out the door as fast as possible.”
According to the plan, people will be required to wear masks in airports and on certain public transportation, including many trains, aeroplanes and intercity buses.
The Biden administration will expand vaccine manufacturing and power to purchase more vaccines. President Biden will also direct the federal emergency management agency to reimburse states for the costs associated with National Guard related efforts to battle the virus.
“We will move heaven and earth to get more people vaccinated for free and create more places for them to get vaccinated, to mobilize more medical teams to get shots in people’s arms and to increase vaccine supply and get it out the door as fast as possible,” the President said.