NEW ORLEANS — President Joe Biden is making clear his biggest goal right now to is fight the pandemic.
“Help is on the way. Today, today I am unveiling a national strategy on COVID-19, executive actions to beat this pandemic,” the president said Thursday afternoon.
During his first full day in office, President Biden released a 198-page plan including how his administration will get the pandemic under control.
“We’ll move heaven and earth to get more people vaccinated for free,” he said.
His goal is to see 100 million shots in arms during his first 100 days in office.
“Oh it’s definitely doable, we're almost doing that now,” said New Orleans Medical Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno.
Avegno said she is encouraged by the strategy laid out.
“Setting the tone nationally is really going to help us on the ground trying to amplify that message,” Dr. Avegno said.
“I think this is a well throughout, comprehensive plan. It’s not just about vaccines, but it’s also about defense production act, supply, PPE, testing,” said Dr. Jeffrey Elder, Medical Director of Emergency Management with LCMC Health. “Ultimately it’s about making the vaccine, distributing it to the states and getting it into people’s arms and we didn't see a very focused federal effort previously.”
Included in President Biden's strategy is directing FEMA to set up 100 vaccine distribution centers across the country, expanding which medical professionals can administer the vaccine and reimbursing states for National Guard COVID response.
“We’re in a national emergency and it’s time we treat it like one,” the president said.
President Biden signed the Defense Production Act to speed up the manufacturing of testing and vaccine supplies.
Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise said President Biden is leaning on the Trump administration's success. Scalise released the following statement Thursday:
“Comments made about vaccine supply and distribution by the White House’s coronavirus czar are old Washington spin. The fact is the Biden Administration inherited contracts for 300 million doses of vaccines for two approved vaccines and two in the final stage of clinical trials. Because of Operation Warp Speed and President Trump’s strong leadership, the United States is already administering close to a million vaccines a day. By doing simple math, we are on track to deliver 100 million doses in 100 days, showing that President Biden’s plan is not a new plan at all and leans on the Trump Administration’s success. If President Biden wants to develop a new plan to administer 200 million vaccines in 100 days, Congressional Republicans stand ready to work with President Biden to help further speed vaccine distribution.”