2. Feds would drive Biden's virus war
If Joe Biden wins 124 days from now, his coronavirus response would feature a no-expenses-spared federal approach to mitigating the virus, and a beefed-up safety net for those suffering its economic consequences, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.
- Why it matters: It’s nearly inevitable that the U.S. will still be facing the pandemic come January. So voters will choose between two very different options for dealing with it.
The big picture: The Trump administration chose a largely state-led response to the virus, with some guidance and assistance provided by the federal government. Science and the public-health advice has, at times, taken a back seat.
- Biden’s response would be drastically different: a massive, federally-driven effort in which no cost would be too high.
America would literally look different, as Biden would "insist" that people wear masks in public. (Think of how that will go over in the red states.)
- Biden's campaign argues that with a greater commitment to meeting state and local needs, there wouldn't be as much division.
- "I don’t think you'd see the politicization of the response that you see today," said Ariana Berengaut, a Biden policy adviser.
But the role of the federal government would be enhanced far beyond that (many of these changes would have to go through Congress):
- A federal Pandemic Testing Board would oversee efforts to produce more testing supplies and coordinate test distribution.
- Biden would name a "Supply Commander" to work with governors to determine states' needs.
The plan is sure to be massively expensive, but the Biden campaign didn't provide an estimate.