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Biden Administration Actions Taken to Confront COVID-19

Victoria Gallegos, Tia Sewell
Thursday, January 21, 2021, 3:15 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

In an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the Biden administration has articulated policy directives supporting protective measures such as mask wearing, social distancing and other science-based public health responses. Here, we are compiling selected executive actions taken by President Biden to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

This page was last updated on Feb. 1, 2021.

Proclamation: Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Non-Immigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus Disease (1/25/2021)

  • This proclamation restricts and suspends entry into the United States by immigrants, nonimmigrants, or noncitizens who were physically present in the Schengen Area, the Republic of Ireland, the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Republic of South Africa during the 14-day period preceding entry or attempted entry into the United States.

Executive Order: Sustainable Public Health Supply Chain (1/21/2021)

  • This executive order directs immediate actions to secure vital supplies for responding to the coronavirus pandemic, and to ensure the supplies remain available. The order includes sections on supply inventory, pricing, pandemic supply chain resilience strategy and the national stockpile.

Executive Order: Establishing the COVID-19 Pandemic Testing Board and Ensuring a Sustainable Public Health Workforce for COVID-19 and Other Biological Threats (1/21/2021)

  • This executive order establishes a COVID-19 pandemic testing board (Testing Board) and a public health workforce program in efforts to establish a government-wide unified approach to control the virus.

Memorandum: Extend Federal Support to Governors’ Use of the National Guard to Respond to COVID-19 and to Increase Reimbursement and Other Assistance Provided to States (1/21/2021)

  • This memorandum states that should State and territorial governors order National Guard forces to fulfill coronavirus-related mission assignments, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) shall fund 100 percent of the cost of activities until September 30, 2021.

Executive Order: Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel (1/21/2021)

  • This executive order reaffirms the Biden administration’s commitment to science-based public health measures, and requires mask-wearing in airports, commercial aircraft, trains, public maritime vessels, intercity buses, and all forms of public transportation. The order additionally sets guidelines for international travel.

Executive Order: Organizing and Mobilizing the United States Government to Provide a Unified and Effective Response to Combat COVID-19 and to Provide United States Leadership on Global Health and Security (1/20/21)

  • This executive order creates the position of coordinator of the COVID-19 response and counselor to the president, and lays out additional related organization between the White House and Federal Government. It also articulates renewed U.S. support for the World Health Organization, a U.N. health agency that President Trump withdrew from in 2020.

Executive Order: Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing (1/20/21)

  • This executive order supports immediate federal compliance with precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, encourages general public compliance, and establishes the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force.

Victoria Gallegos is a senior at the University of Mississippi, studying international studies and Spanish. She is an intern at Lawfare.
Tia Sewell is a former associate editor of Lawfare. She studied international relations and economics at Stanford University and is now a master’s student in international security at Sciences Po in Paris.

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