After a full day of inaugural events that ended with fireworks, observed by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris (and their respective spouses), the Biden Administration is moving ahead with its 10-day sprint of executive orders, kicking off Thursday with measures requiring masks and quarantines for travelers and plans to utilize the defense production act to eliminate any further “supply shortages” in critical vaccine materials.
Here’s more on that from the FT, which says Biden will sign the DPA order on Thursday.
The Biden administration has identified critical supply shortages of 12 items needed to help fight the coronavirus pandemic and promised to use wartime powers to help solve them. Joe Biden, who took office as president on Wednesday, will on Thursday sign an executive order instructing US government agencies to use the Defense Production Act to increase supplies of several items including coronavirus tests, N95 masks and vaccine syringes. The order is one of several such documents the president is signing as he lays out what he promises will be a more robust and transparent strategy to bringing the pandemic under control.
In addition, Biden is imposing strict new requirements on travelers (and not just on planes), while also enforcing quarantine rules, according to Bloomberg.
While most of Biden’s actions are said to be undoing Trump-era policies, at least one of Trump’s travel rules, requiring a negative COVID test before flying to the US, is simply being “codified” by Biden.
President Joe Biden will push for additional travel safety during the coronavirus pandemic by requiring people to wear masks in airports and on planes while enforcing quarantines for people who arrive in the U.S. from other countries.
In an executive order he will issue Thursday, his second day in office, Biden will codify an action by former President Donald Trump on Jan. 12 to require a negative Covid-19 test before flying to the U.S. from other nations, according to a Biden administration fact sheet. The order will be coupled with one requiring masks on federal properties that was signed by Biden on Wednesday.
The language of the orders hadn’t been released so it’s difficult to assess how the various provisions will be enforced. All U.S. carriers have some kind of requirement that passengers cover their faces, as do many airports and transit systems.
But the federal mask requirement could put teeth into policies now written and enforced by the airlines, which have limited remedies, such as refusing to allow customers to board future flights.
And it will go beyond airplanes. According to the Biden fact sheet, the administration will require “mask-wearing in airports, on certain modes of public transportation, including many trains, airplanes, maritime vessels, and intercity buses.”
Of course, new travel rules on masking from Biden could open Americans to face civil fines or other “charges” if they don’t comply with travel-related masking requirements – which means, in theory, you could be fined for eating that snack they give you on the plane. – READ MORE
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