first full day in office with a virtual prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral, a final inauguration tradition before turning to his top priority: combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden will make remarks later Thursday on the new steps he’s taking to tackle the virus through more executive orders and Dr. Anthony Fauci will make his debut as Biden’s top medical adviser.
Fauci will appear at the afternoon’s White House briefing, in the press room where he had to step carefully around former President Donald Trump.
Biden emphasized during the campaign he would be following the lead of scientists. That includes putting them out front on public communication, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
“We’re having public health experts, medical experts, really leading our communication about the process that is underway to get the pandemic under control,” Psaki said on MSNBC Thursday.
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addressed remotely the World Health Organization, from which Trump had cut ties.
“Given that a considerable amount of effort will be required by all of us moving forward, the United States stands ready to work in partnership and solidarity to support the international COVID-19 response, mitigate its impact on the world, strengthen our institutions, advance epidemic preparedness for the future, and improve the health and wellbeing of all people throughout the world,” Fauci said.
Biden will build on the executive orders he signed Wednesday with three more health-related actions. He wants to beef up protective equipment and medical supplies through the Defense Production Act. He wants to bolster testing and ensure equitable access to treatment. And he’s expected to order masks be worn on planes and trains and to require international travelers to have tested negative for the coronavirus before entering the United States.