It’s only been two days since the 2020 presidential election was officially called for Joe Biden, but the president-elect has already managed to put in place a COVID-19 task force (even as his predecessor, President Donald Trump, still refuses to concede the race).
As I read about the team of experts who will comprise Biden’s task force—including former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler and Yale School of Medicine professor Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith—I felt an abatement of anxiety that I hadn’t experienced since the first reported cases of COVID-19 were identified in the U.S. last March.
Obviously, there’s nothing that Biden or his administration can instantly do to bring a halt to the pandemic today or to bring back the over 200,000 American lives it has already taken; cases are higher than ever in much of the country, and we can’t let the weekend’s optimism blind us to the fact that we’re still living through one of the worst public-health crises in world history. Still, between this morning’s vaccine news and the swiftness with which Biden has managed to convene a team of legitimate scientific and medical experts, it’s hard not to feel some measure of hope.
If nothing else, having a president in the White House who’s actually willing to take the pandemic seriously—rather than using his massive platform to issue spurious pseudo-medical advice and encourage a grieving, terrified country not to wear the masks that could help stop COVID-19’s spread—might grant Americans some crucial level of faith in science that’s been eroded over the last four years.
More than that, Biden’s COVID-19 compliance could save untold lives; whether you identify as an ardent supporter of the president-elect or an activist committed to pushing his administration to the left, seeing Biden bring knowledgeable experts together to combat the pandemic endangering our country’s most vulnerable citizens should hopefully bring some tiny measure of relief.