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Biden guarantees new assist bundle for Covid-19 and the attraction to the Protection Manufacturing Act

President-elect Joe Biden warned grimly in Wilmington, Delaware, warning that defeating Covid-19 through widespread vaccination will be “the greatest operational challenge we have ever faced as a nation.”

Biden anticipates “incredible opportunities for our nation in the years to come” and declares that the economy is “ready to come back”. To get there, however, Biden again pledged to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to expedite the manufacture of protective equipment and vaccines by private industry. The president-elect also promised Congress to propose another aid package for Covid-19 early next year.

As Vox Alex Ward has stated that the data protection agency, which President Donald Trump used to provide some medical equipment, would allow the federal government to require companies to do their jobs before doing other commercial jobs.

In early December, Biden announced a goal of 100 million vaccine shots in its first 100 days, but vaccine distribution issues are jeopardizing that benchmark. Biden himself threw cold water on this target when he pointed out that the Trump administration’s goal of vaccinating 20 million Americans by the end of the year is extremely unlikely, given that the United States has only vaccinated “a few million” people to have.

The previous Tuesday, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received her first shot of the Moderna vaccine on live television in Washington, DC. Biden also received the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine on live television on December 21st to increase confidence in the safety of the vaccine. And Vice President Mike Pence received the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine a few days earlier.

In addition to his goal of mass vaccination, Biden recently pledged two other priorities: the universal wearing of masks and the reopening of most schools within his first 100 days. In that speech he reaffirmed the importance of these two goals and stated that Congress must allocate funds to schools so that they can reopen.

Today I announce the top COVID-19 priorities for the first 100 days of my administration:

– Everyone wears a mask
– 100 million vaccinations
– Reopen most schools

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

– Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 8, 2020

“It’s not small what we ask of you, but we’re in it together,” Biden said, acknowledging the difficulty of asking people to continue social distancing and masking for a few more months. Though Biden’s speech focused on finding a clear path to fighting the virus, in its self-described best-case scenario – where a million Americans receive the vaccine every day – the country could be well into 2021 before it gets to Approaching herd immunity.

It’s been a long, cold Covid-19 winter

Biden’s comments come from the fact that Covid-19 cases rose to their highest level during the holiday season. On December 28, the day before Biden’s address, the United States recorded over 189,000 new cases and nearly 1,900 deaths.

A map of each state’s Covid-19 cases per capita from earlier this month. German Lopez / Vox

German Lopez from Vox analyzes weekly which states have Covid-19 cases, infection rates and test positivity rates, based on data from the New York Times and the Census Bureau. Since its last pre-vacation update on December 16, not a single state has had “fewer than four new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people a day”. Lopez writes that daily case rates are the “easiest way to measure if a location is experiencing a major coronavirus outbreak”.

While experts haven’t seen a definite surge due to Thanksgiving and Christmas get-togethers, cases and deaths are expected to increase in the coming weeks.

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