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Biden receiving his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

A member of President-elect Joe Biden's COVID-19 advisory team told CNBC on Monday that Biden plans to invoke the Defense Production Act to boost production of coronavirus vaccines.

Why it matters: The law allows the president to direct the private sector to prioritize manufacturing in the interest of national defense.

The big picture: Biden will invoke the wartime law to ensure that "personal protective equipment, the test capacity and the raw materials for the vaccines are produced in adequate supply," Biden adviser Dr. Celine Gounder told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

  • Gounder added that under the Biden administration, the U.S. will see "a major increase" in testing to track mild and asymptomatic cases of the virus, as well as in genomic surveillance, which tracks mutations of the virus to pick up on new variants.
  • "We did not do that routinely," Gounder said, referring to genomic surveillance under the Trump administration. "We have the technology. We just chose not to spend the money on that kind of public health surveillance."

The state of play: The U.S. government has purchased 400 million doses of coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna through Operation Warp Speed, including a 100 million-dose agreement reached with Pfizer last week amid revelations that some states would receive between 25%-40% fewer vaccine doses than originally projected.

  • The U.S. has also secured 400 million doses of vaccines from Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Novavax, Sanofi/GlaxoSmithKline that have not yet been authorized by the FDA.
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has said every American who wants a vaccine should be able to receive one by June 2021.

Go deeper: Why Americans will demand to be able to prove they're vaccinated

Go deeper

24 hours ago - Health

U.K. surpasses 100,000 COVID-19 deaths

Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

The U.K. on Tuesday surpassed 100,000 coronavirus deaths almost a year after the first two cases were reported in the country, according to government figures.

Why it matters: It is the first European country and fifth country in the world to reach the threshold. The country reported 100,162 deaths on Tuesday.

Scammers have stolen over $130 million in coronavirus-related schemes

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Over 100,000 Americans have collectively reported roughly $132 million in fraud losses from scams related to the coronavirus and government stimulus checks since the March start of the pandemic, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Why it matters: Coronavirus-related fraud complaints peaked in May when the IRS began sending its first round of stimulus checks. Congress recently proposed a second round of stimulus.