The tasks Joe Biden faces: from racial justice to restoring faith in science

The tasks Joe Biden faces: from racial justice to restoring faith in science

The new president will be busy – especially as he wrestles with the fallout from the Trump administration

The coronavirus pandemic and healthcare
As the coronavirus pandemic tore through the US, Joe Biden’s most important promise to the American people was a policy platform taken for granted prior the Trump presidency: believe science.

America was already falling behind other developed nations on a panoply of key health metrics when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and the worst of the pandemic is likely to bear down just as the Biden-Harris administration takes office.

After Donald Trump chose to downplay the threat of the virus and spread conspiracy theories, the US led the world in Covid infections and deaths.

Currently, more than 100,000 people a day are being diagnosed with the coronavirus. Experts predict as many as 200,000 Americans a day could receive Covid-19 diagnoses by Thanksgiving. More than 237,000 Americans have already been killed by Covid-19.

Some analyses suggest more than 90,000 Americans have died unnecessarily – and these figures probably underrepresent the problem.

Biden has pledged, “disciplined, trustworthy leadership grounded in science”, including another stimulus package, robust and free testing and treatment, investment in pandemic planning, and more support for underfunded public health authorities. A coronavirus taskforce is already being formed.