What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White
Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.
This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.
Thursday, January 21, 2021
Biden pledges to defeat extremism and culture of lies as he confronts Trump’s legacy
"The inauguration of President Biden marked the traditional transfer of power that has taken place every four years through two centuries of the nation’s history. This year the day was far more than that, a moment both somber and hopeful in a country reeling from a pandemic and economic distress in a capital city locked down by threats of violence from far-right extremists.
For Biden, Wednesday’s ceremonies represented the fulfillment of decades of personal ambition to serve as president. But if it was a day for him to celebrate that achievement, it was also a day to reckon with what the four years of Donald Trump’s presidency have done to the country and the monumental task of repair and restoration that is now the new president’s responsibility.
Biden ran for president with a pledge to rebuild a sense of normalcy after the chaos and divisiveness of the Trump presidency. But the shocking attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 underscored that a return to normalcy will require presidential resolve in the face of white supremacist threats to democracy as much as or more than customary calls for unity and bipartisan cooperation that long have been central to Biden’s makeup.
The 46th president did not shrink from the duality of what he called this moment of “crisis and challenge,” the urgency of confronting immediate problems that threaten people’s health and welfare as well as the deeper, embedded problems of racial injustice and domestic terrorism by those who fear a changing America.
One measure of how much the attacks of two weeks ago could affect Biden’s presidency was the degree to which he confronted those threats directly and repeatedly. “Here we stand,” Biden said, “just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground. It did not happen. It will never happen, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Not ever.”
Rarely has a nation needed the renewal that is promised with every inauguration. The absence of the president, who became the first in more than a century not to attend his successor’s swearing-in, along with the tableau and pageantry on a socially distanced West Front of the Capitol, signaled an eagerness on the part of many, though not all, to move past the Trump years.
As expected, unity was Biden’s principal theme. But there was nothing soft-edged about the meaning of his words. Instead the appeals for America to come together came with a rhetorical determination to confront the existential threats that rose up under Trump. Kate Masur, a historian and professor at Northwestern University, emailed during the speech that she was hearing echoes of Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address in 1861, a time when seven states already had seceded from the union and the nation was heading toward bloody war.
That Lincoln speech is often remembered for his appeals for unity, for his summoning up of America’s “better angels,” his invocation of the “mystic chords of memory” and his plea that the passions of the day not “break our bonds of affection.” Much of the speech, however, was a condemnation of the secessionist movement and a steely promise to defend the Constitution and preserve the union.
“In some ways the combined force of right-wing authoritarian and white supremacist tendencies in the United States, plus the media climate and disinformation and people’s suffering and resentments, combine to form a more existential threat than we’ve seen in a very long time,” Masur said.
America is not at a point today that it was when Lincoln spoke weeks before the Civil War began, but the “uncivil war” that Biden described is a reminder that what exists today goes beyond familiar talk of political polarization or legislative gridlock to what could be the biggest long-term challenge of Biden’s presidency — a country in which a minority of the people reject many truths, hold to Trump’s words and, in the extreme, are prepared to fight.
No president in modern times, perhaps ever, has inherited the collective set of problems that greeted Biden as he took the oath of office on a clear and cold day, and in a few words, he captured all that afflicts the country: “anger, resentment and hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness.”
In his inaugural address, Biden sought to follow the example of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who, in 1933 during the depths of the Great Depression, said, “This nation asks for action, and action now.” Biden said, “We will press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities. Much to repair. Much to restore. Much to heal. Much to build. And much to gain. Few people in our nation’s history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we’re in now.”
Emblematic of that promise to move swiftly were the 17 executive orders awaiting Biden’s signature after his swearing-in, with more to come in days ahead. More difficult than signing those orders will be showing that he has a strategy to slow the spread of the coronavirus and to produce and deliver vaccinations to enough people quickly enough to return the country to something resembling life before the virus arrived a year ago. How effective the American people judge that response to be will go far in coloring broader perceptions of Biden’s leadership.
The new president also has outlined the $1.9 trillion package to deal with the coronavirus and provide economic assistance to struggling Americans, businesses and state and local governments, to be followed next month by a sizable economic recovery package. On these legislative priorities, he faces a stern test: Can he persuade Republicans to support the package — and how much is he prepared to compromise to win that support — or will he decide to stand his ground and turn to the budgetary process known as reconciliation to push it through with a simple majority vote of his own party?
In addition, there are his commitments to an ambitious strategy to combat climate change and the promise to redraw the nation’s immigration system, including a path to citizenship for those here without documentation. And mindful of who helped to make him president, and the swearing-in of Kamala D. Harris as the first female, Black and South Asian vice president, he also noted that cries of racial justice “400 years in the making . . . will be deferred no more.”
As he noted Wednesday, almost any of these individual challenges would consume a new administration. He does not have the luxury of ignoring any of them.
The desire for national renewal and rejuvenation also comes with demands for accountability — for those rioters who stormed the Capitol and for a president who, as Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said, provoked the mob by feeding it lies. Trump’s impeachment trial will hover over the early days of Biden’s presidency, and while he will not be an active participant, it, too, will color attitudes of Americans about the state of the nation.
On the day the Capitol was overrun, Biden said the attack and the efforts to undermine the results of the election meant that work of the coming four years must be the restoration of democracy. Presidential historian Robert Dallek, noting the significance of the moment Biden assumed the presidency, said, “What helps him a lot is the villainy of Donald Trump and that Trump has fallen into a ditch. There is nothing like having a failed predecessor to give you a running start.”
Timothy Snyder, a historian and Yale University professor, said that until the country is freed from the fear of mob rule in all its forms, whether from violence or intimidation or threats of either, the freedoms that all Americans take as part of the country’s basic values will not exist.
Snyder called this a moment of possible restructuring over which Biden will preside.
“That’s the only upside of Trump being president and a failed coup,” he said. “It opens a window to do things that are more far-reaching. That window’s going to be open, it’s going to be open for a little while.”
Biden said Wednesday’s ceremonies symbolized the triumph not of a candidate but of the cause of democracy. But if democracy met the stress test between November and Inauguration Day, the system remains under duress. Biden’s task, and that of the nation he seeks to unify, is to ensure that the forces that threatened democracy are confronted and defeated."
Biden administration to pause deportations, curtail arrests
"The Biden administration has ordered U.S. immigration agencies to focus their energies on threats to national security, public safety and recent border crossers, ending a four-year stretch during the Trump administration that exposed anyone in the United States illegally to deportation.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske issued a memo hours after President Biden’s inaugural Wednesday setting strict limits for arresting and deporting immigrants while the department reviews its policies and practices. He also imposed an “immediate” 100-day pause on the deportations of certain noncitizens, to take effect no later than Friday. Pekoske is in charge as the Senate considers the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas, the former deputy DHS secretary during the Obama administration.
The memo is the first step in a broader plan to find a different solution for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, many of whom have lived here for years and have U.S.-citizen children. Many are essential workers — delivery workers, caregivers, even physicians — but Congress has not passed a major citizenship bill since 1986.
Biden has unveiled legislation that would allow millions to apply for citizenship, following in the footsteps of former presidents George W. Bush (R) and Barack Obama (D), who attended his inauguration Wednesday, and also advocated, albeit unsuccessfully, for immigration reform.
Trump took a starkly different approach, often characterizing immigrants as criminals and winning praise from his team for taking the “shackles” off immigration agents and allowing them to deport anyone, including immigrants arrested for traffic offenses.
Despite spending billions of dollars to jail record numbers of immigrants, Trump did not deport as many people as his predecessor, in part because of major resistance from immigration lawyers and “sanctuary” jurisdictions that refused to hand over immigrants to the federal government for deportation after they were arrested for state or local crimes.
In the memo, Pekoske ordered DHS’ chief of staff to review the agency’s immigration policies over the next 100 days and recommend revisions.
The memo applies to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which enforces immigration laws in the interior of the United States, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which patrols ports and borders, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which handles applications for immigration benefits such as green cards and citizenship.
During the review, the agency said it will impose “sensible priorities” for enforcing civil immigration laws. Starting Feb. 1, immigrants eligible for deportation will fall into three categories: National security threats, such as spies or terrorists, border crossers who arrived on or after Nov. 1, and aggravated felons currently serving time for crimes such as murder or drug trafficking, after they are released from prison.
But the memo contains an escape clause, saying that “nothing in this memorandum prohibits the apprehension or detention of individuals unlawfully in the United States who are not identified as priorities herein.” And immigrants who voluntarily waive their rights to remain in the United States, after seeking legal counsel, may be deported.
Biden has said it was a “big mistake” to deport as many people as the Obama administration did, when Biden was vice president.
The Obama administration also attempted to focus on recent border crossers and people convicted of a broader array of crimes, but the immigration agencies took years to adjust, with attempts to limit enforcement in 2011 and again in 2014. Some of the language in the Obama-era memos is similar to Pekoske’s.
Monitoring the system from the outside is difficult because, unlike the criminal and civil court systems, immigration arrest and court records are not public, and ICE and the border patrol have labor unions that endorsed Trump.
The acting secretary said he will conduct a “periodic review” of enforcement actions to ensure they are followed.
The memo is in addition to a slew of new executive orders and proclamations that Biden issued Wednesday on issues such as immigration, the border wall and climate change.
DHS also suspended the Migrant Protection Protocols on Wednesday, ordering that no new migrants are to be added to the program, which requires Mexico to host asylum seekers as they await their hearings in the United States. But covid-related travel restrictions remain in place, so asylum seekers are unable to immediately enter the United States, officials said Wednesday.
“All current MPP participants should remain where they are, pending further official information from U.S. government officials,” DHS said in a statement.
But the Pekoske memo signaled that the new administration is focused on expanding asylum processing at the southwest border, which has been paralyzed during the pandemic.
In the memo, Pekoske signaled that the department intends to “surge resources to the border” to secure the boundary with Mexico and to “rebuild fair and effective asylum procedures that respect human rights and due process.”
DHS intends to “fairly and efficiently” process asylum claims while adhering to health protocols to prevent the spread of covid-19, the memo said.
Biden is expected to announce additional immigration actions on Jan. 29."
Relief, but Lingering Rage
"The fractured Trump administration is now behind us, but the wound is still fresh.
I watched as Donald Trump left the White House on Wednesday, tacky and lacking in grace and dignity — consistent with his life and presidency — and I watched as Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of America.
I had many feelings as I observed this pageant of customs. The first was the feeling of having — remarkably, improbably — survived a calamity, like stumbling out of a wrecked car and frantically checking my body for injuries, sure that the shock and adrenaline were disguising the damage done.
To be sure, Trump has done real and lasting damage to this country. He has tested the rules we thought might constrain a president and found them wanting. He has shown the next presidential hopeful with authoritarian tendencies that authoritarianism can gain a foothold here.
Trump taught us, the hard way, that what we took for granted as inviolable was in fact largely tradition, and traditions are not laws. They have no enforcement mechanism. They are not compulsory.
There is the feeling of releasing resistance, of allowing the tension in the neck to relax and the shoulders to drop. It is the feeling of exhaling. It is the feeling of returning to some form of normalcy — a normal presidency, a normal news cycle, a normal sleep habit.
But embedded in that feeling is the knowledge that normal is a removal of Trump’s outrageous behavior and incompetence, not a return to fairness, equity and equality. Those things didn’t fully, truly exist before the Trump presidency. Normal wasn’t working even then.
The Interpreter: Original insights, commentary and discussions on the major news stories of the week.
Biden is coming into office facing multiple extraordinary challenges: a pandemic not yet controlled, a teetering economy, open displays of white supremacist terrorism, yet-to-be-addressed racial inequities and a large portion of the electorate that sees his presidency as illegitimate.
Even so, his administration’s feet must be held to the fire in a quest for true, transformational change. We must not assume that a return to normal is a greater achievement than overturning, in the most positive way, what “normal” looks like.
There is a feeling of deep patriotism and awe for the country itself. Trump did everything he could to break this country, but in the end America remains. Biden was sworn in at the Capitol that Trump’s insurrectionist supporters had stormed two weeks before. Power was transferred.
There is the feeling of pride in symbolism. Kamala Harris was also sworn in as vice president, the first woman in that seat, the first Black and the first South Asian person in that seat. Although Trump, in his smallness and insolence, chose not to attend, Barack Obama was there to see his former vice president assume the presidency. And make no mistake about it, Biden is president only because of his allegiance to Obama.
But then there is also the lingering feelings of disappointment, betrayal and loss of faith.
How is it possible that enough Americans — mostly white, it should be noted — voted for Trump in the first place, sending him to the White House? And how did he receive the second-highest number of votes in the country’s history in November?
Donald Trump is a racist and a white supremacist. And yet, millions of Americans — again, mostly white — either agreed with his views or were willing to abide them. I know that there will be those who warn that I should just let this go, that holding on to it is “divisive.”
To them I say, “Hell no.” You can’t have a feeling of unity after there was enforcement of a practice of cruelty. There must be acknowledgment and accountability. There must be contrition and repentance.
It is not enough to simply let the co-conspirators and abettors of a white supremacist president quiet down and cool off, biding their time, waiting for the next opportunity for their riotousness and wrath to be unfurled and unleashed.
How is it that people of good conscience and good faith are supposed to make common cause, to find healing and unity, with people who have demonstrated their contempt for the equal humanity of others? Where is the center point between my determination to be free and your determination to contain or constrict that freedom?
I still think about the children separated from their parents at the southern border and the children kept in cages. I think about the Trump administration arguing in court that those children didn’t need toothbrushes or soap or the lights turned out at night so that they could sleep. I still think about all those who died in custody and all those who have not been reunited with their families.
There are many transgressions of the Trump presidency. Some, like the mishandling of the pandemic, have even been far more deadly than the handling of migrant families. But there is something particularly cruel and inhumane about what Trump did to those children in the name of the United States government.
I will never forget that. And I will never forget that tens of millions of Americans were willing to accept that and give Trump a pass on it.
I am happy that the Trump administration is now behind us and a new, more normal one is before us, but my relief still mingles with my rage."
Charlottesville Inspired Biden to Run. Now It Has a Message for Him.
"The white supremacist rally in 2017 prefigured the rise of right-wing violence in President Trump’s name. Now, as President Biden calls for national unity, residents say it requires accountability first.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Susan Bro recognized the palpable anger and open bigotry on display in the mob that attacked the United States Capitol this month. It reminded her of the outpouring of hate that killed her daughter, Heather Heyer.
That was in 2017, when white supremacists, self-avowed neo-Nazis and right-wing militias marched on Charlottesville in the name of intolerance — and former President Donald Trump — and one of them drove a car into a crowd, fatally injuring Ms. Heyer. More than three years later, Ms. Bro and other Charlottesville residents say they have a message for the nation after the latest episode of white violence in Washington, and for President Biden, who is emphasizing themes of healing and unity in the face of right-wing extremism.
Healing requires holding perpetrators accountable, Ms. Bro said. Unity follows justice.
“Look at the lessons learned from Charlottesville,” she said. “The rush to hug each other and sing ‘Kumbaya’ is not an effective strategy.”
The Capitol attack and Mr. Trump’s handling of it felt eerily familiar to many residents of Charlottesville, where the 2017 Unite the Right rally not only forever tied the former president to violence committed by white extremists, but also inspired Mr. Biden to run for president and undertake “a battle for the soul of this nation.”
After the rally and Ms. Heyer’s death, Mr. Trump declared that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the conflict and defended the actions of the right-wing mob. It was all a harbinger of things to come: the mix of misinformation and prejudice that Mr. Trump had inspired among a segment of Republicans; the reliance on false equivalency with progressive protesters; the willingness to use the bully pulpit of the presidency to inflame tensions; and the continued episodes of violence.
Charlottesville also showed the electoral backlash that Mr. Trump’s actions inspired, and how a movement to affirm multiracial democracy has grown in response to threats. Locally, a surge of activism helped elect the city’s first Black female mayor, Nikuyah Walker, and changes have been instituted like the creation of a civilian review police board.
Mr. Biden regularly invoked Charlottesville during a campaign in which he reclaimed five states that Mr. Trump had won in 2016. And though Mr. Biden nodded to the violence here and at the Capitol during his inaugural address on Wednesday, he framed the solutions in the sort of terms that Ms. Bro questioned, demonstrating a belief that kindness and compassion could overcome systemic discrimination.
“I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days,” Mr. Biden said. “I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. But I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we all are created equal, and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear and demonization have long torn us apart.”
Mr. Biden’s tone was echoed by several other inaugural speakers, who delivered a clear and unified message: Democracy was tested in Mr. Trump’s administration, through events like the mob violence in Charlottesville and Washington. They argued that Mr. Biden had been elected to directly confront it — and that he knew the gravity of the challenge.
“We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature,” Mr. Biden said. “For without unity, there is no peace — only bitterness and fury.”
But in interviews this week, Charlottesville activists, religious leaders and civil rights groups who endured the events of 2017 urged Mr. Biden and the Democratic Party to go beyond seeing unity as the ultimate political goal and prioritize a sense of justice that uplifts the historically marginalized. When Mr. Biden called Ms. Bro on the day he entered the presidential race in 2019, she pressed him on his policy commitments to correcting racial inequities. She declined to endorse him, she said, focused more on supporting the antiracism movement than any individual candidate.
Local leaders say this is the legacy of the “Summer of Hate,” as the white supremacist actions and violence of 2017 are known in Charlottesville. When the election of Mr. Trump and the violence that followed punctured the myth of a post-racial America, particularly among white liberals, these leaders committed themselves to the long arc of insulating democracy from white supremacy and misinformation.
The Interpreter: Original insights, commentary and discussions on the major news stories of the week.
“We were the canary in the coal mine,” said Jalane Schmidt, an activist and professor who teaches at the University of Virginia and was involved in the 2017 activism. She compared the current political moment to the aftermath of the Civil War, framing the choice for Mr. Biden’s administration as either committing to sweeping change akin to Reconstruction or going along with the type of compromise that brought its end.
“We have a whole major political party that, too large of a section of it, supports undemocratic practices, voter suppression and the coddling of these conspiracy theories,” Dr. Schmidt said, referring to Republicans. “So healing? Unity? You can’t do that with people who don’t adhere to basic democratic principles.”
The Rev. Phil Woodson, the associate pastor at First Methodist United Church, who was among the counterprotesters facing down the mob in 2017, said, “For as much as Charlottesville may have been the impetus for his presidential campaign, Joe Biden hasn’t been to Charlottesville.”
“Unity is not uniformity, and unity is not without accountability,” Mr. Woodson said. “It’s really hard to be unified with people if you don’t have a common understanding of truth and a common understanding of justice. Otherwise, we’re speaking completely different languages.”
In effect, their words challenge Mr. Biden, Democrats and the country to see this month’s attack at the Capitol not as an isolated riot inspired by a divisive president, but as the latest flash point in a longer civil rights struggle that threatens the nation’s core values. And if the mob violence in Washington was foreshadowed in Charlottesville, they said, then Mr. Biden should take heed of how the community responded.
Ms. Walker’s election was not only a historic first; she is also a progressive who replaced a more centrist mayor. Still, she and the City Council have been pushed by activists seeking to restructure the relationship with the local police department and to give more power to the city’s human rights commission. Ms. Walker did not respond to multiple requests to be interviewed.
At Market Street Park in downtown Charlottesville, where infamous scenes of neo-Nazis carrying tiki torches were broadcast throughout the world, the statue of Robert E. Lee still remains. A memorial for Ms. Heyer was constructed near the street where she died, making for a chilling representation of two American legacies — those who have died in an attempt to help the country live up to its promise of equality, and those who have fought to oppose it.
Sena Magill, the vice mayor of the city, said her husband had almost died in a stroke brought on by the events in 2017. She said that if the city had any lesson to offer America about unity and healing, it was this: Understand the difficulty of that process.
“Three and a half years later, we’re still trying to figure it out,” Ms. Magill said. “But we know that this push cannot just be about being against Trump.”
Mr. Biden’s rhetorical embrace of Charlottesville, meanwhile, has not sat easy with everyone. Several residents said they wished he had visited the city during his presidential campaign.
Ibby Han, who was a student activist at University of Virginia in 2017 and now leads a grass-roots network of progressive campus organizers, said it was “jarring” to see footage of Mr. Biden’s presidential announcement include the actions of her and other counterprotesters.
She compared it to when local leaders hailed a “unity concert” that she felt had been held too soon after the violence.
“Thousands of people showed up for this unity concert, but part of me felt like, ‘Well, if all of those people had also showed up to counterprotest the white supremacists, maybe the outcome would have been a little different?’” Ms. Han said. “When I hear those calls from Biden for unity, I’m thinking again, ‘What are the steps for justice that needs to happen before we can get there?’”
Charlottesville’s struggle also reflects the country’s broader divisions. In Tulsa, Okla., a city that has balanced a desire for racial reconciliation with the painful memory of the 1921 race riot and massacre, Black leaders have talked about a formal, three-step process of racial reconciliation: acknowledgment, apology and atonement. In Minneapolis, where the police killing of George Floyd helped ignite last summer’s racial justice movement, city councilors have wrestled with whether to remove money from the Police Department to support social services at a time of rising gun violence in Black communities.
These local efforts, led largely by Democrats, are an attempt to match the party’s verbal commitment to combat systemic racism with tangible results. In Washington, House Democrats passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act last summer, which would remake federal guidelines around police training and misconduct. Mr. Biden has supported the bill, while affirming his administration’s broader commitment to social justice.
“The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer,” Mr. Biden said in his inauguration speech, warning of a “rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.”
But an open question remains: whether Mr. Biden’s desire for civility is at odds with confronting the threat that white supremacy presents to democracy. Some in Charlottesville believe the two values are opposed, and while broader calls for racial equality have become politically popular, the policies that can bring it about still unsettle some people.
“I don’t think Democrats are really handling this with the amount of urgency that they should,” said Constance Paige Young, an activist who was injured in 2017. “Because I don’t think enough Democrats understand the type of threat to the country that this stuff poses.”
The truth is much bleaker to the activists in Charlottesville. For them, this year’s mob violence took aim at the peaceful transfer of presidential power, but it’s the broader transfer of democratic power — from a largely white America to a rising multicultural coalition — that is testing the nation. Mr. Biden should not pitch unity to those who oppose shared political power, they say, but should unite the country in defeating those who stand in the way.
“I can tell you, I had anger when Heather was killed, but it was channeled into energy,” Ms. Bro said. “On Jan. 6, the anger drained me.”
”I’m afraid what’s going to happen is the same thing that always happens — we talk it to death and no real change,” she said."
Biden Unveils a National Pandemic Response That Trump Resisted
"President Biden has a 21-page strategy to bolster production of vaccines, treatments and medical-grade protective gear while reaching out to communities of color.
WASHINGTON — President Biden will use his first full day in office on Thursday to go on the offensive against the coronavirus, with a 21-page national strategythat includes aggressive use of executive authority to protect workers, advance racial equity and ramp up the manufacturing of test kits, vaccines and supplies.
The “National Strategy for the Covid-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness,” previewed on Wednesday evening by Mr. Biden’s advisers, outlines the kind of muscular and highly coordinated federal response that Democrats have long demanded and President Donald J. Trump refused. Instead, Mr. Trump insisted that state governments take the lead.
One day after Mr. Biden was inaugurated at a ceremony full of pomp and ritualbut robbed by the pandemic of the usual crowds, he and his team hope to signal to the public that their approach will be far more assertive.
The new president intends to make expansive use of his executive authority to sign a dozen executive orders or actions related to Covid-19 — including one requiring mask-wearing “in airports, on certain modes of public transportation, including many trains, airplanes, maritime vessels, and intercity buses,” according to a fact sheet issued by the Biden administration.
With its nominees for top health positions not yet confirmed by Congress, the Biden team has asked Mr. Trump’s surgeon general, Dr. Jerome Adams, to stay on as an adviser and to help with the transition. But Mr. Biden’s advisers were not shy about taking aim at the former president, whose vaccine rollout has been the subject of intense criticism.
“The cooperation or lack of cooperation from the Trump administration has been an impediment,” said Jeff Zients, the new White House Covid-19 response coordinator, adding, “We don’t have the visibility that we would hope to have into supply and allocations.”
The Biden team said it had identified 12 “immediate supply shortfalls” that were critical to the pandemic response, including N95 surgical masks and isolation gowns, as well as swabs, reagents and pipettes used in testing — deficiencies that have dogged the nation for nearly a year. Jen Psaki, the new White House press secretary, told reporters on Wednesday evening that Mr. Biden “absolutely remains committed” to invoking the Defense Production Act, a Korean War-era law, to bolster supplies.
But the president, who has proposed a $1.9 billion coronavirus aid package, will need the cooperation of Congress to carry out much of his ambitious plan, which also includes greatly expanding testing of asymptomatic people to reopen schools and businesses.
“On the asymptomatic screening side, we’re woefully undercapacity, so we need the money in order to really ramp up testing, which is so important to reopening schools and businesses,” Mr. Zients said. “We need the testing. We need the money from Congress to fund the national strategy that the president will lay out.”
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Mr. Biden’s strategy is organized around seven goals, including restoring trust with the American people by conducting “regular expert-led, science-based briefings” and advancing equity “across racial, ethnic and rural/urban lines” — another departure from Mr. Trump’s approach.
“The federal government should be the source of truth for the public to make clear, accessible and scientifically accurate information about Covid-19,” Mr. Zients said, adding that the new administration would be “honest, transparent and straightforward with the American people to rebuild that trust.”
Mr. Biden intends to use his executive authority to create a new office for pandemic response within the White House, while also engaging various federal agencies in a more aggressive effort to combat the novel coronavirus.
To protect the health of workers, he will order the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to “immediately release clear guidance for employers.”
He also intends to direct the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services to issue new guidance on how to safely reopen schools — a major point of contention during the Trump administration, whose officials interfered with the school reopening guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to press administrators to bring students back.
To “address the disproportionate and severe impact of Covid-19 on communities of color and other underserved populations,” Mr. Biden will create a Covid-19 Health Equity Task Force. Another executive order will establish a Pandemic Testing Board, an idea drawn from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s War Production Board, to ramp up testing and direct studies, including large-scale randomized trials, to identify treatments for Covid-19.
And Mr. Biden will direct federal agencies to take any necessary action to “exercise all appropriate authorities,” including invoking the Defense Production Act, which allows the government to compel companies to prioritize the government’s orders over those of other clients, to increase the availability of essential supplies.
His advisers were not specific, though, about when or how the act would be used.
“Where we can produce more, we will, and if we need to use the Defense Production Act to help more be made, we’ll do that too,” said Tim Manning, Mr. Biden’s Covid supply chain commander. He added, “It’s time to fix America’s Covid supply response shortage problems.”
Mr. Biden has repeatedly promised to “get 100 million Covid-19 shots into the arms of the American people” by his 100th day in office — a goal that Mr. Zients characterized as “ambitious but achievable.” The president has already directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to begin standing up federally supported community vaccination centers, with the goal of having 100 centers in operation within the next month.
Some of Mr. Biden’s actions, though, echo those of Mr. Trump. For instance, Mr. Biden will issue an executive order requiring international travel travelers to produce a negative coronavirus test before departing for the United States — a requirement that is already in place. And he will move to expand eligibility for vaccination to people 65 and older, a step the Trump administration had already taken.
“We will encourage states to begin opening up eligibility to include folks over 65 and frontline essential workers like educators, teachers, first responders and grocery store workers,” said Dr. Bechera Choucair, a former Chicago public health commissioner who is now the Covid vaccine coordinator. “So, more people, more places, more supply.”
In addition to laying out the president’s strategy, Wednesday’s call was a chance for the new administration to introduce the leaders of its Covid-19 response team: Mr. Zients, Mr. Manning, Dr. Choucair, Carole Johnson, the testing coordinator, and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, Mr. Biden’s top adviser on issues of race and health equity, who will lead the new equity task force.
Dr. Nunez-Smith said her task force would issue specific recommendations to the president to erase racial inequities in the Covid-19 response, but said it was too early to know whether recommendations for vaccination would be changed. The current recommendations, drafted by the C.D.C.’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, known as the ACIP, do not explicitly prioritize vaccination for people of color, who have been disproportionately harmed by the pandemic.
But Dr. Nunez-Smith noted that they do prioritize frontline workers, many of whom are people of color. “I think there’s a rationale for why the recommendations don’t explicitly, at least for ACIP and C.D.C., name racial categories,” she said."