Biden’s mask mandate came as the United States recorded one of the deadliest days of the pandemic, with nearly 4,400 deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecasts the U.S. death toll will pass a half-million in February, with 100,000 more deaths predicted in just the next month.
Biden is set to sign 10 new executive orders on the pandemic today and will release a new national strategy to combat COVID-19, after the White House said the Trump administration left behind no national strategy on vaccinations. The Biden plan calls for funding states’ testing and vaccination programs; improvements in data collection; research into new therapies for COVID-19; and the establishment of a Pandemic Testing Board. Biden will also order the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to develop workplace protections against the coronavirus.