Washington, 4 December 2020 (dpa/MIA) – US President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday said that he plans to recommend that all Americans wear a mask in public for 100 days in order to combat the novel coronavirus.
Biden laid out his future plans for dealing with the pandemic in an interview with CNN.
“I’m going to issue a standing order that in federal buildings you have to be masked, in interstate transportation you have to be masked, airplanes and buses etc,” Biden said.
“On the first day I’m inaugurated, I’m going to ask the public for 100 days to mask. Just 100 days to mask. Not forever,” he added.
Biden also noted that the top US infectious disease specialist, Anthony Fauci, would continue to advise the government on its pandemic response after the inauguration in January.
“I asked him to stay on in the exact same role he’s had for the past several presidents, and I asked him to be a chief medical adviser for me as well, and be part of the Covid team,” Biden said.
Fauci said earlier in the day he had spoken with Biden’s incoming chief of staff, Ronald Klain, and would meet with other members of Biden’s team via video link. Biden confirmed this.
“Today will be the first day where there will be substantive discussions about the transition between me and the Biden team,” Fauci told CBS during an interview.
The United States has seen an avalanche of new coronavirus cases in recent weeks, and the number of people hospitalized has reached an all-time high, surpassing 100,000, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
The spike in cases comes even as prospects for the imminent roll-out of a vaccine become more realistic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said it expects one or more vaccines to be available by the end of the year.
Former president Barack Obama has said that he would be willing to take a vaccine publicly to demonstrate to Americans that he believes in its safety.
“If Anthony Fauci tells me this vaccine is safe and can immunize you from getting Covid, absolutely I’m going to take it,” Obama said in an interview with SiriusXM radio.
“I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed just so people know I trust this science.”
Other former US Presidents, Republican George W Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton, have also said that they would volunteer to be filmed receiving Covid-19 vaccines, according to CNN.
The social media giant Facebook on Thursday announced that it will be removing any false claims about the vaccine from its company platforms.
“Given the recent news that COVID-19 vaccines will soon be rolling out around the world, over the coming weeks we will start removing false claims about these vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts on Facebook and Instagram,” the company said in a blog post.
Facebook said this decision is part of its policy to remove misinformation about the virus.