Biden’s six-pronged strategy against Covid-19

Running out of patience before the pandemic situation worsened, Biden announced a new Covid-19 strategy with 6 prongs, including mandatory vaccination.

The US recorded an average of 150,000 new infections and 1,500 deaths per day in the latest outbreak, bringing the total number of deaths from Covid-19 to more than 677,000 so far. With more than 100,000 people hospitalized, deaths in the United States will continue to rise and exceed the total number of deaths during the 1918 flu pandemic or in American conflicts, excluding the Civil War of 1861-1865, which left approx. 750,000 people died.

“We have been patient, but patience has limits. Your refusal is costing all of us,” President Joe Biden expressed displeasure with those who refused to be vaccinated in the article. spoke on the evening of September 9, before announcing a new 6-step strategy to deal with Covid-19.

President Joe Biden at the White House on September 9.  Photo: Reuters.

President Joe Biden at the White House on September 9. Photo: Reuters.

The first step in Biden’s new strategy is Mandatory vaccinations for workers both in the public and private sectors. Biden directed the Labor Department to require all business owners with more than 100 employees to have mandatory vaccinations or regular Covid-19 testing. The White House also increased vaccination requirements for most federal employees, but removed the option of testing as an alternative to vaccination. The President of the United States signed an executive order with a similar requirement for federal contractors.

This is an important step the Biden administration hopes will help spur similar moves in the private sector. Last month, Biden also signed an executive order requiring all nursing homes receiving funding from Medicare and Medicaid to vaccinate employees.

19% of American workers said their employer would require vaccinations before returning to work, according to a Gallup survey in August. The rate is nearly double the 9% figure in July. shows that 55% of business owners now encourage workers to get vaccinated.

Even at companies that don’t require it, only a small fraction of employees are unvaccinated, less than a third, according to an ABC News/Washington Post survey. But the majority said they chose to quit their jobs over vaccinations.

Inject booster dose to increase protection for vaccinated people is the second step in Biden’s new strategy. The US government announced that it will give booster doses to those most at risk from September 20.

However, it is likely that this plan will only start with the Pfizer vaccine, although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved this vaccine as a booster dose.

An advisory panel is scheduled to meet on September 17 on the issue, while the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will have to establish new guidelines for booster vaccinations.

Keep schools open is also one of the key steps of the new plan. Schools are witnessing many fierce controversies surrounding the mask wearing regulation. Biden pledged to compensate all teachers or staff whose pay was withheld in states where officials oppose mandatory mask-wearing in schools.

He also said he would require 300,000 educators in the federal Head Start program to vaccinate, and urged governors to require vaccinations for teachers and school staff.

As the new school year begins, schools in the US have to deal with the problem of isolating teachers and students because of Covid-19, which could disrupt reopening. The Los Angeles School District became the first major school district in the United States to require immunizations for all children 12 years of age and older. Schools are also ramping up testing in areas where the virus is likely to spread. Students will also be required to be vaccinated.

The recent increase in nCoV infections and hospitalizations among children has worried many experts, but this is still a group with a low risk of severe illness and death from Covid-19.

The Defense Production Act will be used to boost production of rapid testing kits, and the administration plans to send 25 million free kits to clinics in the US, in an effort to increase testing rate. Some retailers like Amazon, Kroger and Walmart will sell unprofitable home testing kits over the next three months, according to Biden.

Regular testing at a reasonable cost helps to detect infected people early, isolate them in time and avoid the risk of infecting others, contributing to preventing the pandemic. Scientists have been working to promote this type of testing since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Economic recovery is a key part of Biden’s new Covid-19 response plan. The President of the White House on September 9 announced that the administration will expand the disaster relief loan program, allowing small businesses affected by Covid-19 to borrow up to $ 2 million, instead of because of the current $500,000, with low and long-term interest rates.

In July, the number of jobs in the US increased to 10.9 million, a new record high, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics on September 8.

Improving medical care for people with Covid-19 is the final step in the strategy of the US President. Biden said the US will increase the number of new drugs “recommended by doctors” for Covid-19 patients. In addition, the Department of Defense also doubled the number of medical troops supporting overwhelmed hospitals across the United States.

A Covid-19 patient was brought to St.  Joseph in Tampa, Florida on August 3.  Photo: Reuters.

A Covid-19 patient was brought to St. Joseph in Tampa, Florida on August 3. Photo: Reuters.

Leana S. Wen, a visiting professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health and a former Baltimore health commissioner, thinks Biden’s six-pronged strategy is “in the right direction but not enough” to fight Covid- 19 in the US. The biggest problem with Biden’s plan is that it “didn’t go far enough” toward the goal of mandatory vaccinations.

Nine months from the start of the vaccination campaign, the US has fully vaccinated 54% of the population. The CDC says first-time vaccination rates in the US are falling, even as the Delta strain rages and overwhelms many hospitals.

“Biden has to admit that we have reached a dead end in our efforts to call for vaccination. We have tried to raise awareness, encourage, call on people to fulfill their patriotic duty, but to no avail. Now is the time to make mandatory regulations, in which the federal government must use its full authority,” S. Wen wrote in the above post. Washington Post on 9/9.

S. Wen appreciates the Biden administration requiring all federal employees to be vaccinated, but thinks the government can and should do more.

“Why didn’t Biden announce that vaccinations would be mandatory for people traveling by plane or train? The federal government has jurisdiction over interstate travel and used to use it to require masks to be worn. “, S. Wen wondered.

The female professor said that the government also needs to clarify what restrictions people who have not been vaccinated will be subject to. “If you want the privilege of traveling, you need to fulfill your responsibilities and get vaccinated,” she said.

In addition, Leana S. Wen suggested that the White House should urge businesses to implement the “no vaccination, no service” rule. San Francisco and New York have pioneered the requirement that customers present their vaccination certificate before entering restaurants, bars, gyms and more.

“I also hope that government officials will change their minds about vaccine green cards and support a national vaccination certification system,” said S. Wen.

Thanh Tam (Follow CNN, Washington Post)

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