Biden must move quickly to beat rising cases

Biden must move quickly to beat rising cases

When Joe Biden is inaugurated as United States president on January 20 he will inherit the legacies of Donald Trump and one of the worst will be a pandemic that is out of control during the depth of winter.

Public health experts who had pinned their hopes on a Biden presidency could barely celebrate because the skyrocketing number of Covid-19 cases heralded daunting challenges ahead. The two-month wait before he takes power also means the country will not immediately get a long-overdue organized federal response to the pandemic.

Experts have already seen coronavirus surging at an unprecedented rate, passing the bleak milestone of 10 million cases with the last million accumulating in just 10 days. An average of more than 110,000 cases per day was recorded in the past week and hospitals are being flooded with patients, including nearly 62,000 in hospitals as of November 10.

The imminent winter will drive people indoors where transmission is more likely and gatherings during America’s Thanksgiving holiday and Christmas will potentially cause super-spreading events. When these risk factors occur during flu season they present a formidable test for the health care system.