President Biden signed 10 executive orders on his first full day in office to combat the coronavirus, seeking Thursday to jump-start the U.S. response to the pandemic while warning it will take “many months to get where we need to be.”
The new strategy is focused partly on ramping up vaccinations and curbing the spread of the virus through mask wearing, testing data and treatments, and includes the executive orders and directives signed Thursday. One order directs agencies to use their authority, including the Defense Production Act, to meet shortfalls in supplies such as masks, while another establishes a pandemic testing board to expand testing supply and access.
Another order requires masks in airports and in certain types of public transportation such as many trains, ships, intercity buses and airplanes.
Mr. Biden’s ability to pursue some of his biggest policy objectives—limiting industrial emissions, expanding health coverage and overhauling immigration laws—will depend in part on his success in combating the pandemic. On Thursday, he sought to manage expectations.