A look at Biden’s health care executive orders

January 22, 2021
Keith A. Reynolds

Here are some of the executive orders President Joe R. Biden signed during his first 48 hours in office.

The newly minted federal administration wasted no time in enacting its health care agenda, as President Joe R. Biden signed a flood of executive orders during his first 48 hours in office.

While many seek to roll back actions taken by his predecessor, the nation’s COVID-19 response seems to be a top priority as well.

Here’s a look at some of Biden’s actions since he’s been in office:

  • Improving and expanding access to COVID-19 care and treatmentsThis order directs officials to support studies and trials for new COVID-19 interventions, create recommendations for expanding health care facility capacity, and improve access to quality and affordable treatments.
  • Data-driven response to COVID-19The heads of all executive departments and agencies are ordered to help in the gathering and dissemination of all COVID-19 data in order to assist in the response to the pandemic and enhancing the data collection and collaboration capabilities in these kinds of public health threats. This order also seeks to improve public health data collection and analytics going forward.
  • Shoring up the public health supply chainBiden invokes the Defense Production Act to inventory all COVID-19 response supplies, take steps to address pricing of pandemic response supplies, shore up the pandemic supply chain, and facilitate Indigenous peoples access to the strategic national stockpile.
  • Protecting worker health and safetyUsing the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the secretary of labor will issue revised guidance to employers in the next two weeks on workplace safety during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

These are just a sample of the actions taken, and those still in the works, a fuller view of the executive orders can be found in a fact sheet released by the White House.