After a day of pageantry that heralded a peaceful transfer of power that was very much in doubt just two weeks ago following the deadly MAGA Rebellion at the Capitol, one in which more Americans died (6) than were killed during the Confederate Army’s firing upon Fort Sumter (none) at the beginning of the Civil War, the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, and the history making 49th Vice President, Kamala Harris, wasted no time getting down to the business of helming the Executive Branch of Government.
President Biden, pictured below yesterday, signed 15 Executive Orders and two directives that signaled a stark contrast to his predecessor’s views on foreign and domestic policy.
Chief among these orders included:
- Rejoining the Paris Agreement on Climate Change,
- Ending the emergency order that funded with American tax dollars parts of the US-Mexico border wall that his predecessor had promised would be paid for by Mexico,
- Abolishing the travel ban from African and Muslim countries that reeked of racial and religious bias,
- Requiring masks and social distancing on federal property.
While the aforementioned Biden Orders are laudable and necessary, where the new President will make his most significant mark during his first 100 days is by charting a course to have Americans inoculated by one of two Coronavirus vaccines that have been developed by Pfizer and Moderna pharmaceuticals.
While President Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, often boasted about the celerity within which vaccines were developed by private companies and cleared by the FDA on his watch, one of the major gripes emanating from pharmaceutical executives and some Republican and Democratic governors across America about his “Operation Warp Speed” distribution is that 1. The Trump administration did not order enough vials of the vaccine and, 2. The Trump administration had no national plan to ensure that the vials that it did order and shipped to the individual states were distributed to patients.
Almost a year after the first Coronavirus cases started to change every facet of American life, over 24.5 million Americans have been infected–and over 406,000 American souls have been lost to this scourge. Amid that backdrop, while there are over 325 million Americans, only 35 million vials of the vaccines were ordered by the Trump administration and to date–only 16.5 million Americans have been vaccinated.
As such, the urgency that faces the Biden administration is to ensure that the maximum number of doses get ordered, that future orders remain in steady production, and that a national mobilization plan is swiftly enacted to distribute the same to those Americans who are anxiously awaiting their shots.
What could complicate Biden’s distribution is politics, particularly in those states that are helmed by “States Rights” Republicans who want nothing more than to stymie any federal help from a Democratic administration. Florida Governor Ron Desantis, a rumored candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has aleady gone on record to state that his state does not need President Biden’s help in distributing the vaccine. Desantis, during a press conference this past Tuesday, while referring to Mr. Biden’s plan to use the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the military to help organize and deliver the vaccines, dismissively called the plan “a big mistake,” adding, “I saw some of this stuff Biden’s putting out, that he’s going to create these FEMA camps, I can tell you, that’s not necessary in Florida. All we need is more vaccine. Just get us more vaccine.”
While Gov. Desantis stopped short of saying that his administration would sue to thwart federal intervention into Florida’s sovereignty, if the brush back against the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) by Florida Republicans is any guide, it is only a matter of time before Desantis seeks to stymie his potential presidential opponent in ’24. If such does occur, with time being of the essence, the Biden administration could still set up vaccine distribution centers on federal military bases in Florida and other recalcitrant states to combat a disease that grows deadlier by the day.