WASHINGTON – Joe Biden said Thursday that one of his first steps as president would be to ask Americans to wear masks for 100 days, pausing short of the nationwide mandate he pushed before stopping the spread of the coronavirus.
The move marks a marked change from US President Donald Trump, whose own doubts about wearing a mask have contributed to politicizing the issue. It has disappointed many to adopt a practice that public health experts say is one of the easiest ways to manage the pandemic that has killed 275,000 Americans.
The president-elect stressed the wearing of the mask as a “patriotic duty” and came up with the idea of setting up a nationwide mask order during the campaign, which he later agreed would be beyond the ability of the president to enforce it.
Speaking to CNN’s Jake Topper, Biden said he would make the request of Americans on Jan. 20, the opening day.
“The first day I started, I’m going to ask people to mask for 100 days. Just 100 days to mask – not forever, just 100 days. And I think we’ll see a significant reduction,” Biden said of the virus.
Capital Hill’s legislator called for the passage of the Coronavirus Aid Bill and announced his support for the $ 900 billion compromise bill introduced by a bipartisan legislature this week.
“It’s a good start, it’s not enough,” I need to ask for more help.
Biden said his conversion team would work on its own coronavirus relief package, and his aides gave signs that they were planning to have their first legislature push.
Dr. Anthony Fauzi, who was elected president, said he wanted to continue in his administration, “in the exact role he has played for many past presidents”, as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the country’s top infectious disease specialist.
He said he wanted Fauzi to be the “Chief Medical Adviser” and to be part of his COVID-19 advisory team.
Regarding the coronavirus vaccine, Biden credited the Trump administration’s efforts in accelerating vaccine development, but said it was “critically important” to plan the distribution properly.
“It’s a really difficult but doable project, but it needs to be well planned,” he said.
Part of the challenge facing the Biden administration in vaccine distribution is building public confidence in it. Biden said he was happy to be vaccinated in public to address any concerns about its effectiveness and safety. Three former presidents – Barack Obama, George W. Bush. Bush and Bill Clinton – say they will be vaccinated publicly to show they are safe.
“People have lost faith in the ability of the vaccine to work,” Biden said, adding that “what a president and vice president do is important.”
In the same interview, Biden also weighed in on reports that Trump was considering apologizing to himself and his allies.
“It worries me in terms of what kind of ancestry it dictates and how the rest of the world sees us as a nation with laws and justice,” Biden said.
Biden is adamant that his legal department “works independently” and that anyone he chooses to lead the department will have “an independent ability to decide who to investigate.”
“You do not see the policy of apology in our administration, you do not see the policy of formulating policy through tweets in our administration,” he said.
In addition to considering early apologies, Trump has spent much time since the election, trying to raise questions about the election he lost by a margin of millions of votes, while his lawyers continue to pursue baseless lawsuits alleging voter fraud in multiple states.
At the same time, many Republicans in Capitol Hill covered the president, defended many lawsuits and publicly congratulated Biden on winning.
Biden said Thursday that he had received private congratulations from “many sitting Republican senators” and that he was confident of the ability to reduce bilateral agreements with Republicans despite the anger that has been classified over the past four years in Capitol Hill.
Trump aides have expressed skepticism that President Biden will attend the inauguration, spreading false accusations, claiming false success. Biden said Thursday night that he believes Trump’s attendance is important to demonstrate the country’s commitment to peacefully transferring power between political opponents.
“It’s entirely his decision,” Biden said of Trump. “It’s not a personal development for me, but I think it’s for the country.”