President Joe Biden predicted Thursday that the United States’ total coronavirus deaths will surpass 500,000 in February.
Biden, speaking during an executive order signing ceremony for his new coronavirus response plan, noted that “to date, more than 24 million Americans,” have contracted COVID-19 and between 3,000 to 4,000 are dying from the virus every day.
“Yesterday, during my inaugural address, I offered a salient and silent prayer,” he stated. “I thought it was important that we all understand what had happened. That we all pay tribute, our prayers to those 400,000 Americans who have lost their lives in this pandemic.” (RELATED: Here’s What Biden’s Coronavirus Executive Orders Actually Do)
“Let me be clear. Things are going to continue to get worse before they get better,” the president continued. “The death toll will likely top 500,000 next month. The cases will continue to mount.”
Biden did suggest that his mitigation orders could potentially save 50,000 lives.
During the ceremony, the White House released Biden’s full 198-page plan, which focuses on seven core goals:
- Restoring America’s trust in the federal government
- Launch a more expansive vaccination plan
- Expand mask use, testing and the availability of public data
- Invoke the Defense Production Act to surge pandemic resources
- “Safely” reopen businesses and schools
- Prioritize at risk-communities and advance “equity across racial, ethnic and rural/urban lines”
- Restore the United States as a global leader on pandemic preparedness
Here are the executive orders the president signed during Thursday’s ceremony:
- “Ensuring a Data-Driven Response to COVID-19 and Future High Consequence Public Health Threats”
- “Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel”
- “Establishing the National Pandemic Testing Board and Ensuring a Sustainable Public Health Workforce for COVID-19 and Other Biological Threats”
- “Improving and Expanding Access to Care and Treatment for COVID-19”
- “Extend Federal Support to Governors’ Use of National Guard to Respond to COVID-19 and to Increase Reimbursement and other Assistance Provided to States”
- “Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers”
- “A Sustainable Public Health Supply Chain”
- “Protecting Worker Health and Safety”
- “Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery”
The full texts of the orders were not available at press time.