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How Joe Biden and Kamala Harris should handle coronavirus on day one - Business Insider

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Joe Biden
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"The tragedy of where we are today is it didn't have to be this bad."His strategy, he added, would include deploying rapid diagnostic tests, ramping up the domestic production of medical supplies and protective equipment, delivering resources to schools so they can safely reopen, and instituting a national mandate to wear masks.Some of those are longer-term goals, but public-health experts say there are things a new administration could do on day one to alter the course of the pandemic.We asked six experts — including scholars from Vanderbilt, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins University — to set an agenda for Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, on their first day in office should they win. Atlanta CDC is nonpartisan public health."Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, said the CDC should be able to develop plans of action that aren't clouded by fears of how things will be perceived by the White House."The first course of action is to restore the CDC to its place leading this response and to remove politics from the response completely," he told Business Insider. But experts say they'd still prefer these briefings to happen more often: once a day."This is a public-health crisis that needs to be led by public-health experts," Dr. Leana Wen, a public-health professor at George Washington University who previously served as Baltimore's Health Commissioner, said. "Willing to admit we've made some mistakes, and that we're going to keep learning, and let the voice of the CDC and experts like Dr. Fauci not be restricted, in terms of allowing them to speak to the public, and not be drowned out by whatever treatments you have a personal thought about."Biden said on Thursday that he plans to "take the muzzle off our experts so the public gets the information they need and deserve."During their first public address under a Biden-Harris administration, Fauci and his fellow experts should issue a universal mask mandate, Schaffner said. But experts have called on his administration to use the law far more to ensure there's a steady stream of medical supplies being manufactured, including testing swabs, personal protective gear, and vaccine equipment."We need to secure the supply chain because it's not the vaccine that's going to save lives, it's the vaccination," Wen said. Experts hope a new czar could more proactively scale up production and processing."You really need a prominent, nonpartisan national leader who's going to orchestrate this, who will then reach out to testing companies and make sure that their tests become more widely available," Schaffner said.In January, researchers at Johns Hopkins University developed a live dashboard to track coronavirus cases.

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