Analysis: the president has ambitious plans to halt a public health crisis his predecessor wrongly claimed would simply disappear

Exactly one year after the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in the United States, Joe Biden was sworn in as president, inheriting the worst public health disaster since the flu pandemic of 1918. In the days that followed, Biden pledged a “full-scale, wartime” effort to combat the virus, even as he braced a disease-weary nation for its darkest chapter yet.

“Things are going to continue to get worse before they get better,” Biden said at the time, offering a dire forecast. The national death toll, he warned, could exceed half a million by the end of February.

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