As U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Pass 250K, 2 In 3 Americans Say Coronavirus Relief Should Be Top Biden Administration Priority; Scientists Should Lead Public Health Communication, Biden Adviser Says

The Hill: 2 in 3 say coronavirus relief should be top priority for Biden in first 100 days: poll
“Two-thirds of registered voters say a coronavirus relief package should be the top priority for President-elect Joe Biden in his first 100 days in office in a new Politico-Morning Consult poll released Wednesday. … Sixty-nine percent of voters overall also say that controlling the coronavirus pandemic should be a top priority, and 67 percent say the same of cobbling together a vaccine distribution plan. Registered voters were allowed to choose more than one issue they hope would be prioritized…” (Axelrod, 11/18).

STAT: Biden adviser says scientists, not political appointees, should lead public communications on Covid-19
“A member of President-elect Joe Biden’s Covid-19 task force is advocating for federal scientists — rather than high-ranking political appointees — to take on the daily work of informing the public about the pandemic beginning in January. Celine Gounder, a task force member and veteran infectious diseases specialist, specifically highlighted two veteran Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientists who appeared at public briefings early in the pandemic but largely disappeared from public view in the spring. One, Nancy Messonnier, infamously enraged President Trump when she forecast that Covid-19 would cause ‘severe’ disruptions to American life…” (Facher, 11/19).

Washington Post: America’s 250,000 covid deaths: People die, but little changes
“…From the start of the pandemic, public health officials and many political leaders hoped that covid’s frightening lethality — the death toll will hit 250,000 this week — might unite the country in common cause against the virus’s spread. But the nation’s deep divisions — political and cultural — as well as the virus’s concentrated impact on crowded urban areas in the early months, set the country on a different path. Now, more than eight months into a pandemic that shows no sign of abating, it has become clear that although close experiences with covid-19 do change some people’s attitudes, many Americans stick to their original notions, no matter what sorrows they’ve seen, no matter where they live…” (Fisher et al., 11/18).

Additional coverage of the pandemic’s toll in the U.S. and the incoming Biden-Harris administration is available from HuffPost and POLITICO (2).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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