President Biden signed 10 coronavirus-related executive orders as part of a national pandemic response plan released yesterday. While the executive orders do not require congressional approval, much of the funding for the planned measures is tied to a proposed $1.9T relief package that does. Key highlights include:
- Accelerating production of protective equipment and supplies for vaccine production, including use of the Defense Production Act (source)
- Requiring masks on planes, trains, and certain other forms of travel (source)
- Supporting school systems to reopen safely (source)
- Utilizing FEMA to establish community vaccination centers and reimburse states for more supplies, including use of the National Guard (source)
More context: Biden described the plan as a “wartime” effort and warned that things will “get worse before they get better" (noting US deaths could top 500k next month).
Extra: Biden is expected to issue two additional executive orders today to expand certain federal benefits (e.g. food aid) and worker protections as Congress negotiates the much larger $1.9T relief package.