President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced on Monday, November 9, the members of their coronavirus advisory board, which will be led by former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, former US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. David Kessler, and Yale University’s Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith.
A pandemic response plan has also been announced on the Biden-Harris transition website. According to CNN:
Number one on Biden’s list of promises is more testing and contact tracing.
Testing has ramped up dramatically since the earliest days of the pandemic, but scientists say the nation needs tens of millions of tests per day to keep the country open safely, and even 10 months into the pandemic, there still aren’t enough.
Without testing, scientists can’t get a clear picture of where the virus is taking off. With as many as 40% of Covid-19 cases estimated to be asymptomatic, a quick test result is key to stopping the spread of the disease. And research has found about 75% of infected contacts need to be quarantined to stop the spread.
Biden promises all Americans will have access to “regular, reliable, and free testing.”
They say they’ll double drive-through testing sites, invest in new technology, and create a U.S. Public Health Jobs Corps that would mobilize “at least 100,000” culturally competent contact tracers.
Biden says he would also borrow a page from the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration and create something akin the War Production Board, which helped supervise the conversion of peacetime factories to plants that made military equipment and weapons. A Pandemic Testing Board, Biden says, would help produce and distribute tens of millions of tests.