Biden promises 100 mn Covid vaccine doses within first 100 days

Washington, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday promised that his administration will distribute 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine within his first 100 days in office.

Biden made the announcement by videoconference from Wilmington, Delaware, during the presentation of his picks for top health care posts within the White House:

The distribution of 100 million vaccine doses is the second point in Biden’s plan to combat the coronavirus pandemic during his first 100 days in office, a plan he outlined during the event.

The president-elect said that educators, health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities would be among those prioritized to receive the first round of Covid-19 vaccinations.

He also said that he would ask Americans to wear facemasks for the first 100 days of his administration to try and restrict the spread of the virus. He said that he would sign an executive order on Jan. 20, 2021, after his inauguration to mandate mask use where possible “under the law” – for instance, in federal buildings and during interstate travel on airplanes, trains and buses.

“Masking, vaccinations, opening schools,” Biden said. “These are the three key goals of my first 100 days.”

Regarding the pandemic plan, Biden said that the country will not emerge from the pandemic right away, saying: “My first 100 days won’t end the Covid virus, I can’t promise that … (but) in 100 days, we can change (the) course of disease and change life in America for the better.”

The obligatory use of facemasks is something that Biden mentioned last week in an interview with CNN.

He also said he will work with governors and mayors to have the same thing done in states and cities, since local action can go beyond the scope of any federal action he might mandate.

The third and final point in the plan will be to get students back to in-person classes, something that Biden called a “national priority.”

On the other hand, Biden criticized – without specifically naming him – outgoing President Donald Trump when he mentioned the efforts the current government is taking to end the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare after former President Barack Obama, who launched the plan and whom Biden served under for eight years as vice president.

He said that health care is the right of everyone, not a privilege that may be enjoyed by only a few, adding that while the country has surpassed 15 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 285,000 deaths, the outgoing administration is asking the Supreme Court to revoke the ACA, just when it’s needed most.

Biden made his remarks during the formal presentation of his nominees for key health care posts in his administration, including appointing current California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to head the Department of Health and Human Services and Dr. Anthony Fauci to be the new administration’s chief Covid-19 advisor.

Becerra, who is of Mexican origin and has extensive legislative experience, spoke at the event on Tuesday by videoconference from California.

He said that nobody should die in a hospital bed with their loved ones forced to stay away, recalling the death of his father Manuel last year at home surrounded by his family.

In his remarks, Becerra also said that the department he will head, if he is confirmed by the Senate, has never been so needed as right now amid the pandemic.

And he noted, addressing Biden, that rebuilding a prosperous US requires a healthy country and that will be the No. 1 task of his HHS team.


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