Biden unveils national strategy for addressing COVID-19

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Joe Biden unveiled his national strategy for addressing COVID-19 on Thursday, and signed additional executive orders to combat the pandemic.

Biden signed several orders Thursday including improving supply chains for the pandemic, keeping workers safe, ensuring equitable response, promoting safe travel, and expanding treatment for COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic was at the top of Biden's agenda on his first day in office. His inauguration came at a time when the country recorded over 24 million COVID-19 cases and over 400,000 deaths.

Biden said the vaccine rollout in the country is a "dismal failure" this far. COVID-19 death toll in the nation may top 500,000 next month, and cases will continue to mount.

Things are going to continue to get worse before getting better, he said.

Biden signed a stack of executive orders upon his inauguration on Wednesday, with the first one addressing the mask challenge amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The executive order of "100 Days Masking Challenge" requires masks and physical distancing in all federal buildings, on all federal lands and by federal employees and contractors.

As of Jan. 19, a total of 37 U.S. state governments required people to wear face coverings in public to curb the spread of COVID-19. The District of Columbia and Puerto Rico also have mask orders in place.

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