WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President-elect Joe Biden appealed to Americans to wear masks Monday as the U.S. passed the sobering total of 10 million COVID-19 infections.
Biden warned Americans against complacency as infection rates continue to soar in recent days to record highs.
“I will spare no effort to turn this pandemic around,” Biden said Monday. “Nearly 240,000 deaths so far. The projections still indicate we could lose 200,000 more lives in the coming months.”
The uphill battle to contain the virus’ spread began with Biden announcing a new, 12-person COVID-19 task force. The group includes a former Surgeon General, a former Food and Drug Administrator and a Yale professor. Biden said the new task force will advise his transition and have a plan ready to be rolled out when he is eon in as president in January.
“We know the single most important thing we can do to stop the spread of COVID is to wear a mask,” the former Vice President said.
Scientist and activist Dr. Yaneer Bar-Yam of the New England Complex Systems Institute expressed relief that the sitting president is “recognizing the need for science,” but cautioned the pandemic will likely get worse before it gets better.
“It is really important that the task force be blunt and direct with the president and should not be afraid to advocate even for unpopular positions,” he said.
The implementation of the task force came on the heels of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announcing progress with its vaccine trial.