On January 20, 2021, Joseph R. Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.  Within hours of taking the oath, President Biden signed an executive order entitled Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing that requires wearing masks and encouraging social distancing in Federal buildings and on Federal lands.   President Biden also signed an Executive Order on Organizing and Mobilizing the United States Government to Provide a Unified and Effective Response to Combat COVID-19 and to Provide United States Leadership on Global Health and Security This Order established a position of Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response and Counselor to the President and reversed former President Trump’s attempt to the withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization.  On January 21, 2021, he began in put his imprimatur on fighting the coronavirus in the U.S. by issuing the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness (the “National Strategy”) and additional Executive Orders addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 National Strategy

On January 21, 2021, President Biden unveiled his National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, which outlines an actionable plan across the federal government to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Strategy is organized around seven goals: 1)  Restore trust with American people; 2) Mount a safe, effective, and comprehensive vaccination campaign; 3) Mitigate spread through expanding masking, testing, data, treatments, healthcare workforce, and clear public health standards; 4) Immediately expand emergency relief and exercise the Defense Production Act; 5) Safely reopen schools, businesses, and travel while protecting workers; 6) Protect those most at risk and advance equity, including across racial, ethnic, and rural/urban lines; and 7) Restore U.S. leadership globally and build better preparedness for future threats. The National Strategy emphasizes ramping up testing, accelerating the pace of vaccinations, and providing more funding and direction to state and local officials.

Executive Orders

In addition to the two Executive Orders related to COVID-19 issued yesterday, President Biden signed eight more executive orders on January 21, 2021 related to COVID-19.

Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers will continue to provide relevant updates on the COVID-19 PHE on the Health Law Pulse.