President-elect Joe Biden can’t stop talking about masks. In a speech on Friday in Delaware, Biden exploded in rage at Republican lawmakers that were maskless during the Capitol “siege” on January 6th, exclaiming “what the hell’s the matter with them?”
It was shocking to see members of the Congress while the Capitol was under siege by a deadly mob of thugs refuse to wear a mask while they were in secure locations.
During his appearance, Biden reiterated his plan to have 100 days of mask-wearing nationwide. He said that wearing masks saves lives:
This is not a political issue. It’s about saving lives. I know it’s become a partisan issue, but what a stupid, stupid thing for it to happen. This is a patriotic act.
Biden promised to use his executive power to enforce face-coverings in all places that he has jurisdiction, including federal agencies.
Masks aside, the COVID-19 vaccine distribution is not moving as quickly as hoped. Biden slammed the rollout as too slow and said his administration would vaccinate 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of his presidency.
A little more than a month has passed since the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were approved for use. According to the CDC, the federal government has distributed over 31 million doses to the states, while the states have only managed to vaccinate 12.2 million people. The CDC maintains an interactive tracker showing the distribution and administration of the vaccine state by state.
It remains to be seen how Biden will speed the administration of the vaccine in all 50 states to meet Biden’s goal of 100 million in 100 days. Factors slowing the vaccine’s rollout include confusing tier systems of eligibility for the vaccine and disorganized distribution systems administered by the states. Biden has promised more federal control and more federal money to get the job done.
A US recovery from the COVID-19 epidemic is tied to successfully vaccinating Americans. The US Chamber of Commerce put it this way, “We must defeat COVID before we can restore our economy and that requires turbocharging our vaccination efforts,”
Let’s hope Biden can keep his promise, “You have my word: We will manage the hell out of this operation.”