If you watched the presidential debates, you could be forgiven for thinking former Vice President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 containment plan boils down to “not Trump’s.”
When asked during the final debate on Oct. 22 how he would respond to the next phase of the pandemic, Biden spent much of his allotted two minutes attacking President Donald Trump, arguing that “anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths”—about 220,000—”should not remain as President of the United States of America.” Biden flicked at his own plan, which he said would encourage masking, increase investments in rapid testing and produce clear national reopening standards, but the response was light on details.
“The President thus far still has no plan,” Biden argued. But does Biden?
Biden gave a speech on his COVID-19 plan on Oct. 23, and he and running mate Senator Kamala Harris have circulated a seven-point plan for “beat[ing] COVID-19 and get[ting] our country back on track.” It is, experts say, what they’ve asked for since the pandemic began—but “the real devil’s in the details,” says Eric Toner, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Everything comes down to execution and specifics. And on that front, it’s too early to say how things would go if Biden is elected.
Most of the Biden/Harris plan is unlikely to ruffle feathers among health experts. The seven points include: