President Biden Announces Day One Executive Actions with Implications for Healthcare Community

Just hours after taking the oath of office, President Biden took a number of actions – through a combination of executive orders, memoranda, directives, and letters – to address priorities which include several with import for the healthcare community.

Here are a few of the top-line items of which we wanted to be sure you are aware:

Elevating the Federal Response to COVID-19

Among the first Executive Orders from President Biden is to create the position of COVID-19 Response Coordinator, who will report directly to the President and be responsible for coordinating all elements of the COVID-19 response across government, including managing efforts to produce, supply, and distribute personal protective equipment, vaccines, and tests.

Re-Engaging with the World Health Organization

The Biden-Harris Administration - with Dr. Tony Fauci as Head of Delegation - will participate in the WHO Executive Board meeting that is ongoing this week. Dr. Fauci will deliver remarks as Head of Delegation to the Executive Board on January 21st. Once the United States resumes its engagement with the WHO, the Biden-Harris Administration will work with the WHO and partners to, among other things, support the COVID-19 health and humanitarian response, and advance global health and health security.

Launching the 100 Days Masking Challenge

President Biden is asking the American people to mask up for 100 days, citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance that has found that masks “are a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19 that could reduce the spread of the disease."

President Biden also is issuing an Executive Order requiring masks and physical distancing in all federal buildings, on all federal lands, and by federal employees and contractors. He also is asking the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control to engage with state, local, Tribal, and territorial officials to implement masking, physical distancing, and other CDC public measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The ASRM Bulletin is published by ASRM's Office of Public Affairs to inform Society members of important recent developments. Republication or any other use of the contents of the Bulletin without permission is prohibited. 

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