Biden signs orders retooling US COVID-19 response

With a burst of executive orders, President Joe Biden served notice that the nation's COVID-19 response is under new management. "We're in a national emergency and it is time we treated it like one," Biden said. (Jan. 21)

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: This is the plan. This is the plan. You can go online and get it. I know it's a lot of heavy reading.

This executive order I'm signing is strengthening the supply chain.

This next one is keeping workers safe. How to do that.

We're in a national emergency. It's time we treat it like one. Together, the national plan, as the United States of America, as I said yesterday in my inaugural address, there are moments in history when more is asked of a particular generation, more of asked as Americans than other times. We are in that moment now. History is going to measure whether we were up to the task. I believe we are. The American people have given so much already.

But I believe they're ready to set big goals and pursue them with courage, conviction, and honesty. Because the health of the nation is literally at stake. It's not hyperbole.

Above all, our plan is to restore public trust. We will make sure that science and scientists and public health experts will speak directly to you. That's why you're going to hear a lot more from Dr. Fauci again, not from the President, but from the real genuine experts and scientists. We're going to make sure they work free from political interference and that they make decisions strictly based on science and health care alone. Science and health alone, not what the political consequences are.

Relates to expanding access to care and treatment for COVID-19.

Our national plan launches a full scale war time effort to address the supply shortages by ramping up production and protective equipment, syringes, needles, you name it. And when I say war time, people kind of look at me like, war time? Well, as I said last night, 400,000 Americans have died. That's more than have died in all of World War II. 400,000. This is a war time undertaking.