Between the first acts, Biden asks for a 100-day mask

WASHINGTON (AP) – Joe Biden said Thursday he is asking Americans to commit to wearing 100-day masks as his first presidency and to stop at his previous national mandate to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The move represents a remarkable shift from President Donald Trump, whose own skepticism to wearing masks has contributed to politicizing the issue. This has deterred many people from the practice, which public health experts say is one of the easiest ways to deal with an epidemic that kills more than 275,000 Americans.

The president-elect often stressed wearing masks as a “patriotic duty,” and the idea of ​​creating a nationwide mask mandate was raised during the campaign, which he later acknowledged to exceed the president’s executive capacity.

Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper, Biden said he would submit the Americans ’request on Jan. 20, the inauguration day.

“On the first day they’re installed, I’m going to ask the public for 100 days to disguise it. Only 100 days of masking – not forever, only 100 days. And I think we’re going to see a significant drop in the virus, ”Biden said.

The president-elect reiterated his call to Capitol Hill lawmakers to pass a coronavirus aid bill and expressed support for a $ 900 billion compromise bill presented by the bipartisan group this week.

“It would be a good start. That’s not enough, “he said, adding,” I’ll have to ask for more help.

Biden said his interim team is working on its own corona virus removal package and his helpers have indicated that this is planned as a first legislative step.

The president-elect also said he had asked Dr. Anthony Fauci to remain in his administration, “in exactly the same role as the previous several presidents,” as director of the National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert.

He said he had asked Fauci to be a “chief medical advisor” as well as a member of the COVID-19 advisory group. Fauci told NBC’s Friday “Today,” “I said yes on the spot.”

Regarding the coronavirus vaccine, Biden offered a staggering credit for Trump’s work to accelerate vaccine development, but said proper planning for distribution would be “critical”.

“It’s a very difficult but feasible project, but it needs to be well planned,” he said.

Part of the challenge for the Biden administration to distribute the vaccine will inspire public confidence in it. Biden said he would be “happy” to be vaccinated in public to allay concerns about its effectiveness and safety. Three former presidents – Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton – said they were also publicly vaccinated to prove it was safe.

“People have lost faith in the vaccine’s ability to work,” Biden said, adding that “it’s important what a president and vice president do.”

In the same interview, Biden also considered reports that Trump was considering his own and his allies ’grace.

“It’s about what kind of precedent it sets and how the rest of the world sees us as a nation of laws and justice,” Biden said.

Biden is committed to ensuring that his Department of Justice will “operate independently,” and whoever chooses to lead the ministry will have “an independent ability to decide who is investigated”.

“You don’t see this kind of approach to grace in our administration, and you won’t see in our administration the approach that makes politics with tweets,” he said.

In addition to considering preventive pardon, Trump tried to raise most of his time after the election by losing the election by millions of votes while his lawyers are conducting unfounded lawsuits in which voter fraud has been set up in several states.

Republicans on Capitol Hill, meanwhile, largely provided cover for the president, many defended the lawsuits, and few publicly congratulated Biden on the victory.

But Biden said Thursday he had received private congratulations from “more than a seated Republican senator,” and trusts he will be able to make bilateral deals with Republicans despite what has been typical of Capitol Hill for the past four years.

Trump’s aides have expressed skepticism that the president, who continues to falsely claim victory and spread unfounded allegations of fraud, is involved in Biden’s inauguration. Biden said Thursday night that he thought it was “important” for Trump to be involved, largely to demonstrate the nation’s commitment to a peaceful transfer of power between political rivals.

“It’s entirely his decision,” Biden said of Trump, adding, “I have no personal consequences, but I think it’s for the country.”