Biden outlines his COVID-19 plan: Mask mandate, widespread testing, ample PPE


WILMINGTON, Del. (KYW Newsradio) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden shared his detailed plan on how to handle the coronavirus pandemic.

“I will immediately put in place a national strategy that will position our country to get ahead of this virus and get back our lives,” he said Friday at one of his favorite spots, The Queen theater in Wilmington.

The first item of the former vice president’s plan is a mask mandate. He said he’d impose one on federal facilities and ask every governor to put one in place in their state. If they refuse, he’d ask mayors and county governments to do it.

“Wearing a mask isn’t a political statement. It’s a scientific imperative,” he said. “Masks save lives. Period.”

The plan also includes a national testing strategy, which would make tests free for all, and greater lab capacity for safer results.

Then, he said he’d use the Defense Production Act to make sufficient personal protective equipment. When a vaccine is available, he said he’ll make it free and accessible to every American, with a supply commander to get it distributed.

Finally, he’ll offer national guidance on reopening safely — with the resources to do it.

Biden said his views of the virus differ sharply from President Donald Trump’s, and one of the toughest jobs in the coming years will be restoring faith in government.

“COVID-19 dwarfs anything we’ve faced in recent history, and it isn’t showing any signs of slowing down,” he said. “I’m not going to shut down the country. I’m going to shut down the virus.”