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January 25, 2021

President Biden Outlines Strategy To Contain COVID-19

On January 21, his second day in office, President Joe Biden released his administration’s national COVID-19 strategy. The plan includes:

  • Enhanced manufacturing of personal protective equipment, testing materials, and vaccines through the Defense Production Act;
  • Providing 100 million doses of vaccines in 100 days by creating community vaccination centers;
  • New guidance or rules from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for employers to help keep workers safe from COVID-19 exposure;
  • Increased federal reimbursement to the National Guard and states and cities for personnel and emergency supplies;
  • A requirement that masks be worn on federal property and in airports, on planes, and on many forms of transportation;
  • Massive efforts for “real-time” federal data collection for schools and a public dashboard on cases, testing and vaccination, and hospital admissions;
  • Requirements that international travelers acquire a negative test for before departing for the United States; and
  • Resources for local communities to safely reopen schools.

Click here to read the full, 200-page plan.

While President Biden’s approach is more centralized than the Trump administration’s, each individual U.S. state is still empowered to make key decisions, including which businesses are “essential” to the economy and how to distribute the two COVID-19 vaccines that currently are on the market.

That is why, in a free webinar offered to MSCI members in early January, Dr. Mark McClellan, former administrator of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a former FDA commissioner, urged industrial metals industry leaders to engage with their state and local lawmakers about vaccine distribution, and even to consider asking whether individual companies might be able to work with government officials to hold vaccination events. (MSCI members can find the webinar here.)

As a reminder, the National Association of Wholesalers and Littler Law Firm are both keeping track of each state’s distribution system. Click here and here to access those resources. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers also have provided additional information on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Click here to view the U.S. Chamber’s information and click here to access the NAM information.