Biden promises 'I will always level with you' in detailing COVID-19 plan
TAMPA, Fla. - When it comes to America's fight against COVID-19, President-Elect Joe Biden isn't promising the world.
"Things will get worse before they get better," he said Friday. "I will always level with you."
But he is at least aiming to get 100 million Americans vaccinated in his first 100 days, which ends on April 30.
The new White House is promising to work with states to establish 100 community vaccination sites by the end of February, to use the Defense Production Act to make more PPE and syringes, and to beef up supply.
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The Trump administration has already cut a deal to buy between eight and 12 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine per week.
"The policy changes that we are going to be making are going to take time to show up in the COVID statistics," said Biden.
Coming into the MLK holiday weekend, the seven-day average of new nationwide cases was at nearly 240,000, with more than 3,300 average daily deaths.
The US may reach 400,000 COVID-19 deaths by Monday night.
In Florida, new cases have started to tick down, but percent positivity is still over 9%.
University of South Florida virologist Dr. Michael Teng says, in theory, the new president's plan is promising, but that it'll come down to coordination.
"The federal government can provide the structure for vaccine distribution," said Teng. "It is still up to the states to do it how they want to do it themselves."
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A normal, healthy lung compared to a post-COVID lung. (Credit: Dr. Brittany Bankhead-Kendall)
Beyond vaccines, the new president promises to increase both drive-thru and at-home testing, to provide more PPE to hospital,s and to respond to real-time changes in the number of cases by providing guidance to local schools, businesses, and sporting venues.
The Biden administration also promises to provide small businesses with PPE and plexiglass.
"This is a time to set big goals," said Biden. "To pursue them with courage and conviction, because the health of the nation is literally at stake."
Because of a shortage in the stockpile for those who need to get their second vaccine dose, the federal government has promised to prioritize those in new weekly shipments of vaccines.