President Biden Extends COVID-19 National Emergency, Takes Other Related Actions
This week, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. took a series of actions to support the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, we provide a brief summary of these actions:
- National Emergency Extended: President Biden on Wednesday issued a notice continuing the national emergency declared in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic beyond March 1, 2021. The extension notice is available here.
- Masks to Health Centers and Food Banks: Under the direction of President Biden, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD), will deliver millions of masks to over 1,300 community health centers nationwide. Anyone in the community will be eligible to pick up masks from their local community health center and recipients will be encouraged to take an individually wrapped package of two masks for each person in their household. In addition to masks to health centers, the DoD, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (USDA), will provide masks to many of the country’s nearly 300 food banks. Food banks reach a network of over 60,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, and other food distribution points. Recipients will similarly be encouraged to take an individually wrapped package of two masks for each person in their household. Of note, the masks will be no cost, high-quality, washable, and consistent with the mask guidance from the CDC. All of the masks will be made in America and will be available beginning in March and into May. The Biden Administration anticipates distributing more than 25 million masks total. Additional information on the mask announcement is available here.
- Supply Chains Executive Order: President Biden issued an executive order this week aimed at strengthening the U.S.’ supply chains for critical and essential goods. As part of the order, specified federal agencies are directed to conduct an immediate 100-day review of supply chains of four key products to address vulnerabilities. The order additionally calls for a one-year review of a broader set of U.S. supply chains, which include a focus on key sectors such as public health and biological preparedness products. Federal agencies are further directed to address threats to supply chains and improve resiliency of supply chains. A fact sheet on the executive order is available here.
- 50 Millionth Vaccine Delivered: President Biden convened an event on Thursday to commemorate the 50 millionth COVID-19 vaccine administered in the country. A video recording of the event is available here and remarks from the event are available here.
- Update on Community Vaccine Sites: The Biden-Harris Administration this week issued information on the progress its Administration has made in distributing and administering COVID-19 vaccines through over 400 community vaccination centers across 37 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. According to the Administration, 171 sites are supported by 2,225 federal personnel, 312 sites are supported by federally-funded National Guard member deployments, 177 sites have received federal funding, and 62 sites have received federal equipment. The update from the Administration additionally details federal pilot community vaccination centers, two of which have been established in California in Alameda and Los Angeles counties. The information is available here.