President-elect Joe Biden was a frequent critic of the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and is now signaling policy changes are imminent.
This week, Biden’s campaign said he would begin to form a task force to confront the virus nationwide when he takes office. In North Texas, cases have been steadily increasing for over a month and scientists expect the winter months to be especially difficult across North America.
"We are going to be looking right from the get-go what we can do with the CDC and the Biden administration to keep you more safe,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, a Democrat.
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Jenkins said the Biden campaign has already reached out to him to discuss the pandemic.
"They wanted to talk about COVID, what they could do to help and how we could work together on that and I have yet to have that call from the Trump Administration,” Jenkins said.
In Tarrant County, where cases are also rising, Republican County Judge Glen Whitley said the upward trend was “concerning” but expressed confidence in a healthcare system that he said has adapted to the realities of COVID-19.
“They are very comfortable with treating it at this point in time,” Whitley said.
A proponent of masks and social distancing from the start of the pandemic, Whitley said he believed decisions related to how to deal with the virus at the local level should remain a local decision. Federal assistance, Whitley said, should center on the creation of a vaccine.
"I hope from the federal level they will focus on the vaccine, not only getting an approved one ready but getting it into mass production,” he said.