What are his key policy promises?
One of Joe Biden’s first acts as president-elect was to unveil the team he has tasked with leading the fight against Covid-19, as announced in his victory speech. Mr Biden and his vice president, Kamala Harris, met the 13-strong Covid-19 task force in Mr Biden’s home state, Delaware, on November 9.
Members of Mr Biden’s task force include respected scientists and public health experts, who have served both Republican and Democrat administrations and its three co-chairs have a range of political and scientific experience.
He has indicated he will make quick appointments of the Cabinet secretaries who will be key to the response. That includes his health secretary, treasury secretary, and the director of the National Economic Council.
Biden has already named a former surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, and an ex-Food and Drug Administration commissioner, David Kessler, as co-chairs.
Mr Biden has said he would quickly appoint a “supply commander” who would be responsible for producing and distributing tests, masks, and vaccines. There will also be a “pandemic board” deciding what resources were required.
He will prioritise seeking advice from Dr Anthony Fauci, America’s leading infectious diseases expert, and make him a pivotal figure in the response.
The president-elect has made clear that health care remains a top priority for him. It’s an issue that is deeply personal for him; his first wife and young daughter were killed in a car crash in 1972 and his oldest son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015. “I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like if we didn’t have the health care they needed immediately,” he said during the campaign.
Mr Biden said he will expand the Affordable Care Act, the signature legislative achievement of the Obama administration which expanded health insurance to millions of Americans. He proposed expanding the ACA and implementing a plan that will insure “an estimated 97 per cent of Americans”. Mr Biden said he would achieve this by offering Americans the option to enrole in a public health insurance programme similar to Medicare, which offers coverage to the elderly. However, Mr Biden does not support the universal public health insurance plan backed by progressive Democrats like Bernie Sanders.