Biden’s prioritizing COVID-19 agenda is welcome news for doctor

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden removes his face mask to speak on Thursday.
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden removes his face mask to speak on Thursday. (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Joe Biden’s election as the next president and naming co-chairs of a coronavirus working group within the first 24 hours of being declared the winner couldn’t come at a better time, a Jacksonville infectious disease doctor told News4Jax on Sunday.

The first appoinments from the Biden transition team comes as Johns Hopkins University said the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide just passed 50 million and the number of cases in the United States nearing 10 million and rising faster than any time since the virus surfaced in this country at the beginning of 2020.

“On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisors to help take the Biden-Harris COVID planning, [and] convert into an actual blueprint that will start on January the 20th, 2021,” Biden said in his first public remarks since being named president-elect early Saturday morning. “Folks, our work begins with getting COVID under control. We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality, or relish life’s most precious moments, hugging our grandchildren, our children, our birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us until we get it under control.”

Jacksonville infectious disease physician Mohammed Reza “wholeheartedly” agrees with Biden’s efforts. His advice to the incoming president?

“Have a uniform direction, transparency across the country -- for the businesses, for the individual, across the country and county. Provide updates," Reza said. “What we needed from the beginning, the basic things that science has taught us at this point is to wear that mask, social distance and hand hygiene."

Reza said he supports a national mask mandate, something Biden advocated during his campaign.

“I am, because science is going to take the lead on fighting this pandemic and that’s what we need,” Reza said. “It is not a political reason to not wear a mask or to wear a mask. It is for public health safety, to save lives.”


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