President-elect Joe Biden’s plan comes at a time when the nation needs all the help it can get fighting the coronavirus. More than 4,200 people in the United States died of COVID this past Tuesday, a new daily record high.
The president-elect’s plan includes a national vaccination program, setting up community vaccination sites nationwide, scaling up testing and tracing, investing in high-quality treatments, providing paid sick leave to contain spread of the virus, and addressing health disparities.
His proposal suggests investing $20 billion in a national vaccination program. Right now, much of the vaccine rollout has been left to the states, which have struggled to get vaccines into arms at a faster pace because they don’t have enough money or people.
That people problem could be addressed by a funding emergency hiring for a community health worker program Biden’s putting forward, aiming to cover 100,000 public health workers.That would nearly triple the country’s community health workforce.
"This would be one of the most challenging operational efforts we have ever undertaken as a nation. We'll have to move heaven and earth to get more people vaccinated, to create more places for them to get vaccinated, to mobilize more medical teams, to get shots in people's arms, to increase vaccine supply and to get it out the door as fast as possible," Biden said.
His team says those people would be hired to work in their local communities doing vaccine outreach and contact tracing short-term and continue in public health roles long-term, especially for low-income and under-served communities.
The president-elect’s proposal also sets aside money for special strike teams to handle long-term care facilities experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks, an additional $10 billion in manufacturing pandemic supplies like PPE and researching more treatments, especially for long-haulers.
This plan is ambitious. Altogether, this COVID part of Biden’s plan would take some $400 billion.
For Newsy, I’m Lindsey Theis.