Biden Urges Americans to ‘Mask Up,’ Says It May Save 50,000 Lives by April

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Biden Urges Americans to ‘Mask Up,’ Says It May Save 50,000 Lives by April” – below is their description.

    President Joe Biden unveiled a national strategy to combat the coronavirus while issuing a sobering warning: The pandemic is likely to claim another 100,000 lives over roughly the next month and will worsen before it improves.

    “We’ll move Heaven and Earth to get more people vaccinated for free,” Biden said Thursday at the White House.

    But he warned: “The brutal truth is it’s going to take months before we can get the majority of Americans vaccinated.”

    Biden announced a series of executive actions aimed at overhauling the federal response to the coronavirus outbreak, which has already claimed more than 400,000 lives in the U.S. He repeated his warning that the crisis will worsen before it improves, and that the U.S. will experience a “dark winter.”

    But he encouraged Americans to be vigilant about wearing masks, saying the simple precaution could save 50,000 lives through April.

    “The fact is, it’s the single best thing we can do — more important than the vaccines,” he said.

    The distribution of coronavirus vaccines in the U.S. has been plagued by delays, and Biden officials have criticized the Trump administration for the lags, saying there was no federal plan in place to ensure shots were administered.

    “What we’re inheriting is so much worse than we could have imagined,” Jeff Zients, Biden’s Covid-19 task force coordinator, said Wednesday.

    The executive actions include stabilizing the supply chain for critical medical supplies and boosting the government’s ability to provide rapid and equitable vaccine distribution. Biden said one order would provide schools and childcare centers with “clear guidance and resources,” to reopen, though didn’t offer further detail.

    International travelers arriving in the U.S. will soon be required to show a negative test before departure, and to quarantine on arrival, though specifics of that program aren’t clear.

    The Biden administration acknowledges it needs Congress to authorize additional spending to make a breakthrough.

    “This is a wartime undertaking,” Biden said. “I know these bold practical steps will not come cheaply, but failing to do so will cost us so much more dearly.”

    Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert who is serving as a coronavirus adviser, attended the event and was due to brief the press later that afternoon. Biden pledged to defer to scientists and to be transparent about any errors.

    “We will level with you when we make a mistake we’ll straight up say what happened,” he said.

    The director of his National Economic Council, Brian Deese, said earlier that “it’s critical that Congress act quickly on the president’s proposals and provide relief for families in need.” Republicans have already expressed misgivings about the price tag for Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief bill.

    Another 4,415 people died in the U.S. from the coronavirus on Wednesday, the second-highest daily total yet. Roughly 186,000 new cases were recorded the same day. The rolling average number of new infections has declined since peaking on Jan. 10, but a new, more contagious strain of the virus threatens to fuel another wave of the illness.

    The U.S. has administered at least 17.2 million doses of vaccine so far, or about 5 doses per 100 people, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker. That trails countries like the U.K and Israel, but outpaces others including Germany, Italy and Canada.

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    In This Story: Canada

    Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. It extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres (3.85 million square miles), making it the world’s second-largest country by total area.

    Its southern and western border with the United States, stretching 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world’s longest bi-national land border. Canada’s capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

    Various Indigenous peoples inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years before European colonization. The Canada Act 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British Parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with a monarch and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the Cabinet and head of government.

    As a highly developed country, Canada has the seventeenth-highest nominal per-capita income globally as well as the thirteenth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index. Its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks.

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    Israel, a Middle Eastern country on the Mediterranean Sea, is regarded by Jews, Christians and Muslims as the biblical Holy Land. Its most sacred sites are in Jerusalem. Within its Old City, the Temple Mount complex includes the Dome of the Rock shrine, the historic Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Israel’s financial hub, Tel Aviv, is known for its Bauhaus architecture and beaches. 

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    The capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican as well as landmark art and ancient ruins. Other major cities include Florence, with Renaissance masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s “David” and Brunelleschi’s Duomo; Venice, the city of canals; and Milan, Italy’s fashion capital.

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