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“We can’t continue like this, half recovery and half getting worse, half wearing masks and half rejecting signs. We can’t continue, half with a plan and half just hoping for the best. We won’t defeat the virus with a piecemeal approach,” the former vice president said earlier this summer as he took aim at Trump.
The president has defended his response to the pandemic, and his campaign has accused Biden of politicizing the coronavirus crisis.
But if Biden’s elected in November's general election, what is his plan to handle the worst pandemic the world’s witnessed in a century?
The former vice president unveiled his own plan to combat the coronavirus in March, as the pandemic was sweeping the nation. The proposal, which Biden has encouraged the president to adopt, calls for nationwide testing and contact tracing programs, new nationwide standards for reopening the economy, mandatory masks in public, more support for seniors and other vulnerable Americans in isolation from the virus, and ramped up production of personal protective equipment for health care workers on the front lines in the fight against the pandemic.
Earlier this month, in a high-profile announcement, Biden highlighted his mask mandate, urging that “every American should be wearing a mask when they’re outside for the next three months at a minimum.”
Biden stressed that “the estimates are we will save over 40,000 lives in the next three months if that is done.”
The mask mandate is one policy point where Biden stands apart from the president. Trump has not called for a nationwide mandate. Last month, the president said he is “a believer in masks” but added that he’s leaving it up to state governors to decide whether or not to implement an order requiring people to wear them in public.
As Biden unveiled different aspects of his plans and policy positions earlier this summer, tackling the coronavirus was always front and center.
His proposal has five main pillars. They are: “Restoring trust, credibility, and common purpose,” “mounting an effective national emergency response that saves lives, protects frontline workers, and minimizes the spread of COVID-19,” “eliminating cost barriers for prevention of and care for COVID-19,” “pursuing decisive economic measures to help hard-hit workers, families, and small businesses and to stabilize the American economy,” and “rallying the world to confront this crisis while laying the foundation for the future.”