Joe Biden names new coronavirus task force


The Federal News

President-elect Joe Biden plans to implement a new COVID-19 task force when he takes office in January.

Over the past eight months, 10.6 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and over 242,000 Americans have died. Because of the staggering number of cases in the United States, president-elect Joe Biden announced a coronavirus task force that will aid in the recovery effort from COVID-19 on Monday, Nov. 9.

The task force is made up of 13 physicians, public health experts and researchers. According to NPR, three advisors will hold co-chair positions: Dr. David Kessler, a former FDA commissioner; Vivek Murthy, Barack Obama’s former surgeon-general; and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Yale. Other advisors include those who have worked under the Obama and Bush administrations, directors for numerous health organizations and professors of medicine from universities such as Harvard and NYU.

In a statement issued on Nov. 9, Biden said: “The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.” 

While the task force will address all issues relating to COVID-19, there will be different subgroups to focus on specific issues related to the response of the coronavirus pandemic. These subgroups will be testing, and distributing vaccines and personal protective equipment, according to The Washington Post. In addition to these subgroups, there will be a seven-point plan to address the pandemic. 

“Please, I implore you, wear a mask,” Biden said. “Do it for yourself. Do it for your neighbor. A mask is not a political statement, but it is a good way to start pulling the country together.”  

When Biden takes office in January, there will be a national mask mandate put in place. Biden will work with state governors and mayors to implement the mask mandate as well as other changes, according to CNBC. While there has been speculation on whether or not Biden can implement a national mask mandate, he plans to use an executive order if states do not cooperate in implementing the mandate. There will also be a mask mandate in all federal buildings and in interstate transportation. 

Another issue the task force is addressing is coronavirus testing. According to CNBC, Biden wants to “ensure all Americans have access to regular, reliable, and free testing.” This would include an increase in drive-through COVID-19 testing sites and investing in technology that will help produce at-home, instant tests. Rapid tests take 15-20 minutes for results and have already been used in nursing homes. In addition to tests, Biden will invest $25 billion for vaccine manufacturing.

Biden’s administration has more plans for the coronavirus response. He plans to add 100,000 new jobs with the U.S. Public Health Jobs Corporation to benefit under-resourced public health departments, as well as to provide paid sick leave for anyone who has COVID-19, and anyone who is taking care of a family member with COVID-19. Additionally, Biden’s administration is planning a renewable fund for state and local governments to help prevent budget cuts that would affect teachers and first responders.

COVID-19 has impacted people of all ages, and an ongoing struggle is trying to control the spread of the virus. With the new coronavirus task force, some are wondering if the procedures will be effective in fighting COVID-19.

I certainly hope that they will be effective at fighting the spread. I am hopeful that they will be, considering that Biden has said that they will inform all of his decisions about COVID and because they are all qualified experts in health,” said Elijah Winek, a first-year at Guilford.

When Biden is inaugurated into office on Jan. 20, 2021, he will begin immediately implementing his plans to fight the coronavirus. If you would like more information on these plans, go to