Biden says vaccine rollout has been a 'dismal failure' and urges Americans to wear a mask for 99 days

More than 406,000 people have died as a result of COVID-19 in the US - with 4,367 fatalities confirmed in the past 24 hours.

1/22/2021 9:21:00 AM

Joe Biden has warned that the fight to bring coronavirus under control in the US is a 'wartime undertaking' - devoting much of his first full day in office to tackling the pandemic

More than 406,000 people have died as a result of COVID-19 in the US - with 4,367 fatalities confirmed in the past 24 hours.

After being sidelined by Mr Trump, Dr Fauci returned to the White House briefing room on Thursday - adding that it was"liberating" to serve under a science-friendly administration.He told reporters:"One of the new things in this administration is, if you don't know the answer, don't guess. Just say you don't know the answer."

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Later today, Mr Biden will begin calls with foreign leaders - starting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.But Downing Street has said it is unable to confirm when Boris Johnson will be in contact with the US president for the first time since he entered the Oval Office.

Image:President Joe Biden has wasted little time in unveiling a plan to tackle the coronavirus crisis.Analysis: What a difference a day makesBy Dominic Waghorn, diplomatic editorWhat a change in tone - just one day into Joe Biden's new administration. headtopics.com

War on science under Donald Trump has been replaced with an all-out war on the virus.Cue the return of Dr Fauci - Dr Doom and Gloom, according to the former president's team. To everyone else, he is the man best qualified to tackle the pandemic.Dr Fauci's insistence on scientific fact was so infuriating to Donald Trump that he was banished from giving briefings in the end.

He's now centre stage as the Biden administration battles to bring the runaway virus to heel.Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video playerHow Biden's inauguration day wentAt the White House, he told reporters it felt"liberating" to"get up here and talk about what you know, what the evidence and science is, and know that's it - let the science speak".

Dr Fauci smiled as he downplayed his frustrations with Mr Trump. It had been"uncomfortable" to watch the president recommend miracle drugs like hydroxychloroquine, he said.It must have been excruciating.Donald Trump seemed to resent Dr Fauci's star status back in the spring.

The Trump administration's Cnutian denial of scientific fact in the face of such a devastating pandemic will surely be one of its most shameful records.Dr Fauci has three decades' experience dealing with infectious disease outbreaks.Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player headtopics.com

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Bidens watch fireworks from White HouseInstead of drawing on this expertise, Mr Trump fulminated that the doctor was probably a Democrat and allowed his staff to issue a dossier smearing his record - sidelining him and his unique expertise.The doctor's relationship with the new president seems a lot healthier.

"Everything we do will be based on science and evidence," he's been promised. What an idea.We won't see a president spouting quack remedies like disinfectant injections and night after night digging himself deeper and deeper into a pit of medical ignorance.

Instead, we will have clinical factual briefings with a man who knows more than any other about one of the gravest-ever threats to the US. Read more: Sky News »

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