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President Biden’s first executive actions target converging crises

Through a series of executive orders, memoranda, directives and letters, President Biden this week took actions to address the COVID-19 pandemic, economic relief, climate change and racial equity. A summary of the president’s actions on his first day is available here. Key actions related to healthcare include the following, many of which are part of the President’s National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness:

  • 100 Days Masking Challenge, a campaign encouraging all Americans to wear masks for the next 100 days.
  • Executive order requiring masks and physical distancing in federal buildings, on federal lands and by federal employees and contractors.
  • Action to reverse the Trump Administration’s withdrawal from WHO.
  • Executive order to facilitate a national COVID-19 response, creating a COVID-19 response coordinator responsible for directing all elements of COVID-19 response across the government including efforts to produce, supply and distribute PPE, vaccines and tests. 
  • Executive actions to bolster testing, ramp up the supply chain and ensure equitable access to COVID-19 treatment.

President Biden also issued executive orders to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation and reversed President Trump’s executive order excluding undocumented immigrants from the census count.

The president is expected to issue additional healthcare executive orders next week, including one related to strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.

HANYS will closely monitor and provide updates to members regarding the implementation of these and other anticipated executive actions. Contact: Elyse Oveson

Published January 22, 2021