President-elect Joe Biden said he would ask Americans to mask themselves for 100 days once he took the oath of office and that he would have Dr. Anthony Fauci asked to be his chief medical advisor on the coronavirus pandemic.
“On the first day of my inauguration, I will ask the public for 100 days to mask – only 100 days to mask. Not forever, ”Biden told CNN's Jake Tapper Thursday.
"And I think we will see a significant reduction in COVID cases in this case," he said.
The inauguration day is January 20th. Biden has urged Americans to wear the face covers, and even suggests he could fulfill a national mandate to fight the disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend wearing face masks "in public facilities and around people who do not live in their households".
But some have made it a question of political freedom, saying they don't want to be "forced" to wear one. President Donald Trump was reluctant to wear face-covering in public – although he did wear one in mandatory situations – and thousands of people who did not have face-coverings attended his campaign events. His team argued that wearing a face mask was a personal choice.
President-elect Joe Biden said he will ask Americans to mask themselves for 100 days once he takes the oath of office, which takes place on Jan. 20
Biden said he had a relationship with Dr. Anthony Fauci and asked him to be his chief medical advisor on the coronavirus pandemic
Biden's plans come as the United States saw a new record on Wednesday, most COVID deaths in one day at 2,670. There were more than 100,200 patients in U.S. hospitals as of Wednesday, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
The president-elect also announced that he had spoken to Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, and asked him to remain in his current position and play a senior role in its administration.
"I've asked him to take on the exact role he's had in the last several presidents and I've asked him to be a chief medical officer for me as well and be part of the COVID team," Biden told CNN.
Biden added that Ron Klain, his new chief of staff, knew Fauci well and had spoken to him "all along".
Fauci has at times quarreled with Donald Trump as the president made suggestions like injecting bleach into himself to fight the coronavirus and urged economic recovery before medical advice.
But the doctor, who was an early expert on the AIDS crisis, has become a public hero and trusted face of the disease as cases rise across the country.
Experts have warned that the coming winter months will be difficult and the number of illnesses will continue to increase.
“The reality is that December, January and February will be tough times. Indeed, I believe it will be the most difficult time in this country's public health history, largely because of the stress that will put our health system under pressure, ”said CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield.
In their hour-long interview with CNN, Biden and his vice-president-elect Kamala Harris discussed a number of topics, including the impending inauguration of the president and pardons from the president:
Biden said he would be happy to have a COVID vaccine once Fauci says it is safe and he would take it to publicly demonstrate his confidence in it.
“People have lost confidence in the vaccine's effectiveness. Even now the numbers are really amazingly low and what the President and Vice-President do is important, ”he said.
All three former presidents – Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton – said they would publicly take a COVID vaccine to instill confidence in it
His comments come the day after three of his presidential predecessors – Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – announced that they would be receiving the coronavirus vaccine publicly to demonstrate its safety and effectiveness.
"I think my three predecessors set the model of what to do and said once it was declared safe … then we take it obvious and it is important to communicate to the American people," said Biden.
There are at least three possible COVID vaccines that have strong signs of effectiveness.
And the Food and Drug Administration has scheduled a meeting for December 10th to discuss Pfizer's application for emergency approval.
Meanwhile, lockdowns are on the horizon in some parts of the country as falls rise.
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced a new home stay order in parts of the state where hospitals have less than 15 percent of ICU capacity
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new home stay order Thursday for regions where less than 15 percent of ICU beds are available.
The new regulation divides the state into five regions, none of which currently meet the threshold for the new restrictions.
However, Newsom said that four out of five regions – Greater Sacramento, Northern California, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California – are on track to hit that threshold within a few days, and that the fifth – the Bay Area – is expected to hit that mid-point Month.
If capacity exceeds 85 percent, the state will instruct affected regions to close hair salons and barber shops, limit retail stores to 20 percent, and only allow restaurants to offer takeaway and delivery for at least three weeks.
Biden said he was concerned about what the precedent would be for President Trump to preventively pardon his attorney Rudy Giuliani, his adult children, or himself.
"It concerns me what kind of precedents there are and how the rest of the world sees us as a nation of law and justice," the president-elect told CNN.
Legal scholars agree that the president can give others preventive pardons. In 1974, President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon to prevent criminal prosecution in the wake of the Watergate scandal before formal federal lawsuits were brought.
Scientists disagree on whether Trump can forgive himself, and the matter would likely end up in the Supreme Court if it did. Additionally, presidents can only issue federal pardons, which means Trump, his family, and his staff could continue to be the subject of state investigations.
Biden then repeated his promise that his Justice Department would operate independently. President Trump has been criticized for attempting to interfere with federal legal issues through his tweets and comments in media interviews.
“I'm not going to tell you what to do and what not to do. I'm not going to say to prosecute a B or C, ”Biden said of his attorney general.
"It's not my Justice Department. It is the People's Justice Department, so the people I choose to run this department will be people with the independent ability to decide who will and who will not be prosecuted," added he added.
President-elect Joe Biden was not wearing his medical boot when he arrived at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware for his interview with CNN
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris attended their first interview together, answering questions from CNN's Jake Tapper for nearly an hour
Biden also said he would not have a policy similar to Trump on pardons and tweets.
"You will not see such an approach to pardons in our administration." You will also not see the approach in our administration of creating guidelines through tweets. You know, it's just going to be a very different way of approaching the justice system, ”he said.
Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris was based on comments she made in Democratic Elementary School that a future Justice Department would have no choice but to prosecute Trump.
“We're not going to tell the Justice Department how to do its job. And we assume – and I say this is a former attorney general elected in California, and I headed the second largest Department of Justice in the United States – that every decision by the Department of Justice, especially the U.S. Department of Justice, will be taken Justice should be based on facts, it should be based on the law, it should not be influenced by the political period, ”she noted.
Biden supported her: "I guarantee this is how we go."