The United States reported 166,045 new Covid-19 cases and 995 more virus-related deaths on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The nation has now seen more than 100,000 new infections a day for two straight weeks. Here’s what else is happening on the pandemic front:
Fauci calls for ‘uniform’ pandemic response rather than ‘disjointed’ state-by-state effort: Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, said Tuesday that the United States needs “a uniform approach” to combating the pandemic rather than a “disjointed” state-by-state effort — comments that, as The New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg notes, “echoed the views of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and contrasted sharply with President Trump’s coronavirus strategy.”
“We need some fundamental public health measures that everyone should be adhering to, not a disjointed, ‘One state says one thing, the other state says another thing,’” Fauci said at a virtual New York Times event.
Fauci reportedly also stressed the public health importance of a smooth presidential transition and said that the pandemic response should not be a political issue. “We’ve got to get public health issues out of the realm of political divisiveness — this is not a political issue,” he said. “We’ve got to do everything we possibly can to pull together as a nation.”
Business Roundtable backs Covid relief bill, national mask mandate: The head of the Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs from top U.S. companies, on Tuesday called for the presidential transition to a Biden administration to proceed and said lawmakers should quickly pass another relief package to address the coronavirus pandemic. “What we’re talking about here is important economic relief for people who are hurting, and a lot of economic damage can be done in the next two or three months before the next Congress can get going," Joshua Bolten, the group's president and a former White House Chief of Staff under President George W. Bush, told reporters, according to The Hill.
Bolten reportedly urged lawmakers to address the surge in coronavirus cases by passing a relief bill that includes aid for small businesses, families and schools and then build on that legislation with another package once Biden is on office. He said the CEO group supports a national testing strategy and mask mandate among its priorities for an incoming Biden administration and new Congress. Bolten also said that the group believes Biden should roll back some of the tariffs on foreign goods imposed by the Trump administration.
Medical associations urge Trump to cooperate with Biden on pandemic: The leaders of the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association on Tuesday urged President Trump to cooperate with the Biden transition team and share “all critical information” related to Covid-19 in order to “save countless lives.”
“All information about the capacity of the Strategic National Stockpile, the assets from Operation Warp Speed, and plans for dissemination of therapeutics and vaccines needs to be shared as quickly as possible to ensure that there is continuity in strategic planning so that there is no lapse in our ability to care for patients,” the three leaders wrote in a letter to the president.