Some area organizations feeling hopeful following President Joe Biden’s inauguration

NOW: Some area organizations feeling hopeful following President Joe Biden’s inauguration

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Some state and local organizations are feeling hopeful for the future with President Joe Biden taking office during an unprecedented time. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought forth a number of challenges in the medical and economic realm the new president will have to solve.

One of the items in President Biden’s COVID-19 relief proposal is a $160 billion national vaccine program with $20 billion allocated for distribution. Political experts say the need for speedy vaccine delivery is what’s on the minds of many.

“Distribution in the states, whereas we know that there are a number of bottlenecks, and so I think that’s going to be one of the major challenges he begins to solve right off the bat,” said Associate Professor of Political Science at Marquette University, Philip Rocco, Ph.D.

With a new president, the Wisconsin Medical Society says faster vaccine dispersal would be critical in the fight against COVID-19.

“That would be what would be ideal, and you know certainly the federal government probably has ways in which they can maximize that process so that we can do everything as fast as possible,” said Dr. Brad Burmeister with Wisconsin Medical Society’s COVID-19 Task Force.

Along with vaccines, Rocco says a focus on COVID-19 workplace safety regulations is also on President Joe Biden’s to-do list.

“One of the biggest things that hasn’t been there since the Trump administration is work safety standards in the workplace,” added Rocco.

In his inaugural address, President Biden noted his respect for facts and truth. Rocco thinks this time scientists, doctors and other non-political roles will see less obstruction than with the Trump administration.

“One of the things you will see with the Biden administration is a return to some of the respect for sort of career civil servants,” Rocco said.

“Science is what’s going to lead us in the direction of what we need to fight the pandemic, we follow science and we do science so that we know things that work and things that don’t,” said Dr. Burmeister.

Rocco says there’s also a recognition the pandemic is causing economic crisis for many. President Joe Biden issued an executive order extending the CDC eviction moratorium through March 31.

“I think everyone in my world today has a big sigh of relief,” said Colleen Foley, executive director at the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee.

The Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, who have helped thousands of people with the flood of evictions over the summer, hopes President Biden will extend the moratorium even longer. Foley also hopes any proposed eviction funding legislation will pass to help families and landlords with the burden.

“I would hope and expect that our elected leadership in Congress will do the right thing and make sure that that gets enacted as well,” added  Foley.

“There’s sort of economic support payments for families and especially families with children, I think you’re going to see those be really key in Biden’s legislative package,” said Rocco.

Rocco says in the next few days we’ll see a wave of executive orders, but it’s important to remember President Biden and Democrats have narrow control in the Senate. This could mean the legislative agenda may not see final action on some items until the spring.

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