Biden moves forward with plans to get pandemic under control

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – On his first full day in office, President Biden is tackling the COVID crisis, signing a series of executive orders, and pulling together a huge stimulus package that is already facing partisan pushback on Capitol Hill.

Aides to President Biden said that he wakes up in the morning and goes to bed at night thinking about how to get the coronavirus pandemic under control. Friday he laid out his plans to do just that.

In his first full day on the job, President Biden followed through on a central promise of his campaign: laying out a detailed pandemic battle plan.

“We’ll move heaven and earth to get more people vaccinated—for free—and create more places for them to get vaccinated,” Biden said.

The president signed ten executive orders to dramatically ramp up vaccinations, expand testing, safely reopen schools and businesses, and mandate mask-wearing in airports, planes, and trains.

The Biden team said it has to start from scratch on a vaccine distribution plan because the Trump administration didn’t lay the groundwork.

“We’re in a national emergency,” Biden said. “It’s time we treated it like one.”

The new president vowed to use the Defense Production Act to help reach the goal of 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days and promising to let scientists lead the way.

Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “The idea that you… that you can get up here and talk about what you know, what the evidence, what the science is and know that it… let the science speak. It is somewhat of a liberating feeling.”

President Biden is pushing a nearly $2 trillion rescue package to pay for it all.

Many Republican leaders balking at the high price tag and the president’s sweeping plans.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said, “He knows the agenda and those executive orders he is signing are partisan. That’s dividing.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is still not revealing when she plans to send the article of impeachment against former President Trump to the Senate for trial but stood firm on the need to hold him accountable.

The Biden administration is also hoping to fast-track approvals for cabinet positions. The Senate approved Avril Haines as the first female director of national intelligence and moved forward on transportation secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg.

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