Tuesday morning, Joe Biden‘s transition team shared a link to their overall plan for combatting COVID-19, which seeks a more active role for the federal government in public health and the economy than it has during the Trump administration. Additionally, the plan aims to take a more multilateral approach in dealing with the virus than the current administration has, including rejoining the World Health Organization (WHO).
This comes after Biden announced on Monday a slate of individuals he’s nominating for economic roles in his incoming administration. His most notable picks include former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen for Treasury secretary, Neera Tanden for director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and Cecilia Rouse for chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). His economic team, if successfully confirmed by the U.S. Senate, will play a vital role in leading the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic.
In sharing the link, the team tweeted that “President-elect Biden believes that the federal government must act aggressively to help protect and support our families, small businesses, first responders, and caregivers affected by COVID-19.”
Also part of Biden’s plan are measures to increase U.S. collaboration with other countries in fighting COVID-19. Notably, the document says that one goal is to “immediately restore our relationship with the World Health Organization, which—while not perfect—is essential to coordinating a global response during a pandemic.”
The WHO has come under intense scrutiny since the start of the pandemic, with critics saying that the organization mishandled the virus and has failed in condemning the Chinese government for lying to the world about the virus and censoring those in China who tried to inform the world about COVID-19. Biden has made public statements in the past where he has said that he wants the U.S. to rejoin the WHO.
Other internationally focused measures listed in the document are: expanding “the number of CDC’s deployed disease detectives so we have eyes and ears on the ground, including rebuilding the office in Beijing,” immediately restoring “the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, originally established by the Obama-Biden administration,” and relaunching and strengthening the “U.S. Agency for International Development’s pathogen-tracking program called PREDICT.”
President Donald Trump has taken a mostly unilateral approach in fighting the virus during the pandemic, with him in October announcing that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the WHO. Furthermore, the president, who was already an aggressive critic of China before the pandemic, has been extremely vocal in his anger toward the country’s authoritarian government regarding COVID-19, having routinely referred to it as the “China virus.”
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Experts Say United States Vulnerable to ‘Electromagnetic’ Attack by Chinese
When Joe Biden was trying to convince Americans to vote for him to become the next President back in 2019, he belittled the concept that China is a danger to the U.S. “Come on man, China’s not a threat” said Biden.
Experts, however, continue to show just how wrong Biden has always been. Fox News reports “experts are warning that the United States is vulnerable to an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack from adversaries such as China, and that time is running out to invest in defending the country from it.”
Last week during a virtual forum hosted by the Universal Peace Federation, Peter Vincent Pry, the executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, said “that poses a real threat of possibly being able to win a war with a single blow by means of an EMP attack.”
“Moreover…they don’t envision employing an EMP by itself. It would be used in conjunction with cyberattacks and physical sabotage, and non-nuclear EMP” added Pry. Experts also warn that while an EMP attack would be “bloodless” at first, a yearlong blackout could kill roughly 90% of the American population.
The U.S. electric grid and other infrastructure – such as communications and transportation systems and water and sewer services – could all be devastated by such an attack, experts like Pry warn, noting that time is of the essence for the U.S. to defend itself.
China already possesses “super EMPs” and last summer tested a new hypersonic glide vehicle that analysts warn could deploy the EMP and cause a long-lasting blackout that would shut down key infrastructure and cripple the military’s ability to communicate.
A Pentagon report on Chinese military capabilities details how China has invested heavily in its EMP program, with a strategy that “emphasizes suppressing, degrading, disrupting or deceiving enemy electronic equipment throughout the continuum of a conflict while protecting its ability to use the cyber and electromagnetic spectrum.”
“The PLA is likely to use electronic warfare early in a conflict as a signaling mechanism to warn and deter adversary offensive action. Potential EW targets include adversary systems operating in radio, radar, microwave, infrared and optical frequency ranges, as well as adversary computer and information systems” adds the report.
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