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President Biden signs executive hours just hours after being inaugurated. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On his first full day on the job, President Biden will move quickly to translate his promise of a stronger federal response to the pandemic into policy — starting with 10 executive orders and other directives.

Why it matters: The hands-on federal effort marks a significant change from the Trump administration, which put states in charge of many of the logistical details of their pandemic responses.

What they're saying: “For almost a year now, Americans could not look to the federal government for any strategy, let alone a comprehensive approach," Biden's coronavirus task force coordinator, Jeff Zients, told reporters.

  • "That all changes" with the new administration, he said.

Details: Biden's executive actions will direct agencies to boost supply chains — including by using the Defense Production Act.

  • They'll also establish a federal board to increase coronavirus testing capacity and access, establish an equity task force, and order the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services to provide guidance on how to safely reopen schools.

The big picture: The new administration is taking steps that public experts have been calling for.

  • But putting the pandemic behind us would require a lot of cooperation from the public, and it's far from clear that Biden will have that, no matter what he does.

Between the lines: Almost nothing will be as important — or high-pressure — as the vaccination effort.

  • Biden wants to increase the number of vaccination sites, expand the supply of doses and ask states to expand eligibility for vaccinations.
  • But the Trump administration had already begun sending out most available vaccine doses to states, meaning there's no quick way to boost the supply in the immediate term.
  • In many states, demand is simply overwhelming supply.

Go deeper: The public health presidency

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February — FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated."
  2. Vaccines: The shifting definition of fully vaccinated — Annual vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO — Team USA 100% vaccinated ahead of Beijing Olympics.
  3. Politics: Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate — Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance — Arizona governor sues Biden administration over funds tied to mandates.
  4. World: Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games — Beijing officials urge "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics — Austria approves vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker
Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
3 mins ago - Health

Health care workers hit new breaking point

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The ranks of health care workers are dwindling and stretching what it means to be reaching their "breaking points," particularly at small nonprofit hospitals.

The big picture: Even as Omicron cases have begun to wane in some places, many hospitals are still fielding a crush of patients amid record employee callouts.