Vaccines and masks: Biden plan aims to break pandemic cycle

A coronavirus action plan being unveiled by President-elect Joe Biden centers on a mass vaccination campaign and closer coordination among all levels of government.
The Biden plan comes as a divided nation remains caught in the grip of the pandemic’s most dangerous wave yet. So far, more than 380,000 Americans have died.
Biden hopes his multidimensional strategy, expected to be detailed in a speech tonight, will put the country on the path to recovery by the end of his first 100 days. Biden said after getting his second vaccine shot “It’s going to be hard. It’s not going to be easy. But we can get it done.” A more disciplined focus on vaccination is the new and widely anticipated game-changing element, but that’s far from the whole story. Biden is asking Americans to override their sense of pandemic fatigue and recommit to wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and avoiding indoor gatherings, particularly larger ones. That’s still the surest way to brake the COVID-19 wave, with more than 4,400 deaths reported just on Tuesday. Biden has also talked about asking Congress to pump more money to states, to help their efforts to contain the pandemic and replenish depleted coffers that pay for basic services. And Democratic lawmakers are eager to push for $2,000 economic stimulus payments to Americans. According to Dr. Leana Wen, Public Health expert and emergency physician Biden’s biggest challenge is to (quote) “win the hearts and minds of the American people to follow his lead.”Next Wednesday, when Biden will be sworn in as president, marks the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States.

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