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9 Dec, 2020 04:19

Biden proclaims ‘100mn vaccine jabs & everyone wearing masks’ as key Covid-19 priorities for his ‘first 100 days in office’

Biden proclaims ‘100mn vaccine jabs & everyone wearing masks’ as key Covid-19 priorities for his ‘first 100 days in office’

Presumptive US president-elect Joe Biden has outlined how he would tackle the coronavirus pandemic during his first months in the Oval Office, vowing to distribute tens of millions of vaccine doses and reopen most schools.

“Today, I'm announcing key Covid-19 priorities for the first 100 days of my administration,” Biden tweeted on Tuesday evening, listing a series of bullet points reading: “everyone wears a mask,”“100 million vaccinations” and “reopen the majority of schools.”

With these steps, we can change the course of the disease and change life in America for the better.

Biden – who’s been declared the winner of the 2020 race by most major media outlets, though not yet formally certified as such – previously said he would “ask” that all Americans don masks for the first 100 days of his administration. He has walked back prior comments suggesting he would universally mandate the face coverings, and as recently as last week said he would not make vaccines compulsory, apparently closing the door on the idea after stating in October that he would not rule it out.

Also on rt.com Biden says he won’t force Americans to vaccinate, but will do 'everything' in his power to encourage them to ‘do the right thing’

The former VP announced last week that he tapped Anthony Fauci, who’s headed up the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, to advise him and to join his coronavirus task force, where the health expert would retain a key position held under the Trump administration.

In a speech on Tuesday elaborating on how he would handle his first 100 days in office, Biden said that, in consultation with Fauci, he had come up with a series of objectives to combat the virus, starting with masks.

“My first 100 days is going to require – I’m going to ask for a masking plan, everyone for the first 100 days of my administration to wear a mask,” he said, adding that “on day one,” he will sign an order requiring face coverings in certain settings, such as federal buildings and during “interstate travel on planes, trains and buses.”

Biden also said his pandemic task force would “help get at the latest... at the last... at least 100 million Covid vaccines” into the “arms of the American people” in his first three months, starting with those “most at risk.” He noted that distributing the jab couldn’t be done without the help of lawmakers, however, calling on Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to accomplish the “Herculean task.”

The Democrat’s last action item centered on reopening schools, calling it a “national priority.”

“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,” he said, adding that Congress should “provide the funding” to protect students, educators and school staff.

Also on rt.com 'Not forever': Biden to 'ask' Americans to wear masks for 'just 100 days' as he taps Fauci to join his team as medical adviser

In unveiling his coronavirus team, Biden also introduced California Attorney General Xavier Becerra – a longtime supporter of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare – as his nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, though mistakenly dubbed him the “Secretary of Health and Education Services.”

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