WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — In his first full day in office, President Joe Biden signed 10 additional executive orders to deal with the deadly pandemic.
“We’re in a national emergency and it’s time to treat it like one,” Biden said.
Democrats say they’re starting from scratch on building a national vaccination plan.
“The Trump administration had no real plans for the production and distribution of the vaccine,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The executive orders provide more resources for vaccines, testing and treatment and invoke the Defense Production Act to produce personal protective equipment.
“Our national plan launches a full-scale war-time effort to address the supply shortages,” Biden said.
Newly-sworn-in Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) hopes Biden’s plan will help struggling states like California.
“Finally a responsible plan, based on science, based on public, based on the input of public health experts. It’s what’s been lacking,” he said.
But Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) criticized President Biden for taking action on issues other than the pandemic and Democrats because the House will not be in session next week.
“Republicans are here, ready to work, ready to make sure we get business back open again, we get kids back in school and ready to make sure we get a vaccine to every person who wants one,” McCarthy said.
But Republicans are also pushing back against Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion COVID relief legislative package. The package tackles reopening schools, unemployment benefits and includes new stimulus checks.