Statement: President Biden to issue key executive orders to combat COVID-19

Media Contacts
Claudia Deeg

Emily Rusch

Vice President and Senior Director of State Offices, The Public Interest Network

Mask mandate and a centrally coordinated effort will save lives in California


SACRAMENTO — President Joe Biden is set to issue two executive orders Wednesday to combat COVID-19. One will mandate mask-wearing on federal property and by all federal employees. The other will establish a COVID-19 Response Coordinator position. The president has also requested billions of dollars in federal funding from Congress to boost response efforts, including $20 billion for a national vaccination program, $30 billion to boost supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and $50 billion to ramp up testing infrastructure.

For the past year, CALPIRG and its national partner have worked with local officials, health professionals, and economists to call for these life-saving measures.

In response, Emily Rusch, CALPIRG Executive Director, released the following statement:

“As tens of thousands of Americans died unnecessarily this year without their families by their side, health professionals and local officials in California screamed themselves hoarse begging for a centrally coordinated effort to combat COVID-19. President Biden heard them, and he is delivering.

“Our country’s response to this deadly virus has been plagued by confusion, fragmentation, and the federal government shirking its responsibility. The president’s COVID-19 Response Coordinator will be instrumental in fixing our broken supply chain for tests, personal protective equipment and vaccines. That’s especially welcome in California, where we have to do more than three times as much testing as we’re doing now to suppress the virus.

“We’re calling on Congress to swiftly approve President-elect Biden’s funding requests for increased testing, PPE and vaccination. Doing so will save lives in California and help us overcome this crisis.”


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