(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — President Joe Biden promised to hit the ground running when it came to containing the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 410,000 Americans since it was first reported in the nation a little over a year ago.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention again updated its forecast on the number of COVID-related fatalities it predicts will transpire in the weeks to come.
New projections anticipate 17,000 to 29,300 new deaths by the week ending February 13, 2021 — bumping the predicted death toll to 465,000 to 508,000 COVID-19 deaths by that date.
During his first full day as president, Biden signed two executive actions in an effort to curb the exploding number of cases and deaths. The president’s new orders now mandates masks in airports as well as certain modes of transportation, including all inbound travelers to the U.S. to test negative for the virus and establishing a testing board.
President Biden also advocated for stricter standards at the workplace and directed the Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services to collaborate with schools to help mitigate the spread of the virus and draw up guidance on how to safely keep the institutions open.
The president also announced an “aggressive” vaccination campaign, citing a “dismal” rollout under the previous administration.
“We’ll move heaven and Earth to get more people vaccinated for free,” he said.
Doctor Anthony Fauci commented on Monday that it feels “liberating” to work under the Biden administration but expressed concern over the swelling number of deaths and new infections in the country.
Doctor Fauci laid out the “best case scenario” for the nation, saying during a White House press briefing, “If we get 70% to 85% of the country vaccinated, let’s say by the middle of the summer, I believe by the time we get to the fall, we will be approaching a degree of normality.”
Echoing the president’s sentiments about an aggressive vaccine information campaign, Fauci added, “The concern I have is people who have vaccine hesitancy who don’t want to get vaccinated. We need to do a lot of good outreach.”
Fauci, who is the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, also reacted favorably to the Biden administration’s goal of 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days , calling it “quite a reasonable goal.”