President Joe Biden Thursday laid out an extensive strategy to address COVID-19, including increased funding and the creation of a Public Health Jobs Corps to put in place 100,000 federal employees who will work to fight the crippling coronavirus pandemic.
The strategy contains 10 new executive orders that direct federal agencies to make reforms that will fill shortfalls in supplies and more, reports Fox News. The administration also plans to establish a COVID-19 Response Office to coordinate an effort that reaches across federal agencies.
The Public Health Jobs Corps will put community health workers, public health nurses, and contract tracers in place. Other key provisions being outlined include using National Guard personnel, providing emergency supplies, complete federal government reimbursement for coronavirus vaccine costs, and allowing schools to reopen.
Biden has also issued an executive order to implement further mask-wearing across the country, with one of the orders directing agencies to require masks on most forms of public transportation.
The orders come after the United States this week passed 400,000 deaths related to the over 24 million cases of COVID-19 nationwide.
"To rebuild the trust of the American people, the National Strategy will signal clear public leadership and a commitment to a robust whole-of-government response that puts science first," Biden's strategy document says. "The federal government will be transparent with the American people, maintaining an open line of communication with the public and all stakeholders."
Biden is also restoring the National Security Council entity that former President Barack Obama had created to address pandemics and has sent letters to inform the United Nations and World Health Organization that he would reverse former President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the WHO.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of the 31 million doses of vaccine the federal government has distributed to states have been administered, and just 2 million have gotten both doses needed for protection against COVID-19.
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