Joe Biden held a meeting with emergency workers to discuss methods to counter the coronavirus pandemic. As he plans to take office in January, he had a meeting with nurses, caregivers and firefighters who work in the frontline.
Most of them pleaded for protective equipment and rampant testing in order to detect the cases at the early stage. The online round table was held as the number of coronavirus cases continue to grow at a rapid pace across the country. The latest figures show that the number of cases has crossed 11 million across the country and resulted in 250000 deaths.
One of the nurses who attended the meeting broke down as she described her experience with the pandemic in the last few months. She had seen her colleagues fall sick with the virus, and so many patients dying due to the infection. Even though she has been working in the front line for the last 8 months, she is yet to get tested for coronavirus. Biden was surprised to know this and expressed his disbelief about the lack of testing measures across the country.
Biden is preparing for the presidency and holding several virtual meetings with emergency workers and security professionals across the country. He also discussed various issues with corporate and Labour leaders about ways to rebuild the economy at the earliest.
Other than that, he also held a meeting with military, foreign affairs experts and the intelligence department to know the biggest security challenges for the US in the current situation.
Biden set that there is an urgent need for a national mandate with regards to wearing masks in public places. He said that mask mandate should be in place for at least two months, and along with social distancing, this can bring down the number of cases by a huge margin. However, he would need good support from governors as the president has little control over such kinds of orders across the country.
In the meeting, Biden said that most state and local leaders have realised the importance of wearing masks and practising social distancing and he hopes that they will implement the mask mandate in this situation. As per the estimates given by public health experts, the number of deaths across the country is expected to reach 400000 by the end of January. He said that, by choosing to wear masks and practising social distancing, this could be reduced to a large extent.
He has also proposed for more Federal spending to provide good quality protective equipment for the Frontline workers. However, all this depends on the decisions taken by the Trump administration with regards to tax cuts for or operates, and the individuals. As the Republicans control the Senate, they may not approve for more spending in this situation. Biden is however confident that things will change once Trump moves out of office.
One of the firefighters Who attended the virtual meeting said that face masks are being reused as they do not have enough protective equipment. As per the standard protocol, face masks are supposed to be used only once for the Frontline workers. This is not only a dangerous thing for the Frontline workers, but also for the patients who are attended by these emergency workers.
The Frontline workers also had to deal with the reopening of the schools and check the premises for ventilation and other safety equipment. Even though they were ready to help the public in every regard, they did not have enough equipment in most cases. Biden said that he does not have a clear idea about the stockpiles of protective equipment available as he is yet to take charge. But he said that there is not much protective equipment available for all the emergency workers across the country.
He was also eager to know about the plan for delivering vaccines to the general public and how Frontline workers will get the vaccines on a preferential basis. He added that not much information was made available to him at the moment by the public service departments and he will soon get to know about the actual status regarding all these things. Many people are relieved that Biden is eager to resolve such issues once he takes charge of the office.