[USC02] 42 USC 247d: Public health emergencies
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TEXT OF PART V OF SUBTITLE A (3001 ET SEQ.), EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2022, CURRENTLY SET OUT AS A PREVIEW

42 USC 247d: Public health emergencies Text contains those laws in effect on October 15, 2021
From Title 42-THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARECHAPTER 6A-PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICESUBCHAPTER II-GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIESPart B-Federal-State Cooperation

§247d. Public health emergencies

(a) Emergencies

If the Secretary determines, after consultation with such public health officials as may be necessary, that-

(1) a disease or disorder presents a public health emergency; or

(2) a public health emergency, including significant outbreaks of infectious diseases or bioterrorist attacks, otherwise exists,


the Secretary may take such action as may be appropriate to respond to the public health emergency, including making grants, providing awards for expenses, and entering into contracts and conducting and supporting investigations into the cause, treatment, or prevention of a disease or disorder as described in paragraphs (1) and (2). Any such determination of a public health emergency terminates upon the Secretary declaring that the emergency no longer exists, or upon the expiration of the 90-day period beginning on the date on which the determination is made by the Secretary, whichever occurs first. Determinations that terminate under the preceding sentence may be renewed by the Secretary (on the basis of the same or additional facts), and the preceding sentence applies to each such renewal. Not later than 48 hours after making a determination under this subsection of a public health emergency (including a renewal), the Secretary shall submit to the Congress written notification of the determination.

(b) Public Health Emergency Fund

(1) In general

There is established in the Treasury a fund to be designated as the "Public Health Emergency Fund" to be made available to the Secretary without fiscal year limitation to carry out subsection (a) only if a public health emergency has been declared by the Secretary under such subsection or if the Secretary determines there is the significant potential for a public health emergency, to allow the Secretary to rapidly respond to the immediate needs resulting from such public health emergency or potential public health emergency. The Secretary shall plan for the expedited distribution of funds to appropriate agencies and entities. There is authorized to be appropriated to the Fund such sums as may be necessary.

(2) Uses

The Secretary may use amounts in the Fund established under paragraph (1), to-

(A) facilitate coordination between and among Federal, State, local, Tribal, and territorial entities and public and private health care entities that the Secretary determines may be affected by a public health emergency or potential public health emergency referred to in paragraph (1) (including communication of such entities with relevant international entities, as applicable);

(B) make grants, provide for awards, enter into contracts, and conduct supportive investigations pertaining to a public health emergency or potential public health emergency, including further supporting programs under section 247d–3a, 247d–3b, or 247d–3c of this title;

(C) facilitate and accelerate, as applicable, advanced research and development of security countermeasures (as defined in section 247d–6b of this title), qualified countermeasures (as defined in section 247d–6a of this title), or qualified pandemic or epidemic products (as defined in section 247d–6d of this title), that are applicable to the public health emergency or potential public health emergency under paragraph (1);

(D) strengthen biosurveillance capabilities and laboratory capacity to identify, collect, and analyze information regarding such public health emergency or potential public health emergency, including the systems under section 247d–4 of this title;

(E) support initial emergency operations and assets related to preparation and deployment of intermittent disaster response personnel under section 300hh–11 of this title and the Medical Reserve Corps under section 300hh–15 of this title; and

(F) carry out other activities, as the Secretary determines applicable and appropriate.

(3) Report

Not later than 90 days after the end of each fiscal year, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Commerce and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives a report describing-

(A) the expenditures made from the Public Health Emergency Fund in such fiscal year; and

(B) each public health emergency for which the expenditures were made and the activities undertaken with respect to each emergency which was conducted or supported by expenditures from the Fund.

(4) Review

Not later than 2 years after June 24, 2019, the Secretary, in coordination with the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, shall conduct a review of the Fund under this section and provide recommendations to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives on policies to improve such Fund for the uses described in paragraph (2).

(5) GAO report

Not later than 4 years after June 24, 2019, the Comptroller General of the United States shall-

(A) conduct a review of the Fund under this section, including its uses and the resources available in the Fund; and

(B) submit to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a report on such review, including recommendations related to such review, as applicable.

(c) Supplement not supplant

Funds appropriated under this section shall be used to rapidly respond to public health emergencies or potential public health emergencies and supplement and not supplant other Federal, State, and local public funds provided for activities under this chapter or funds otherwise provided for emergency response.

(d) Data submittal and reporting deadlines

In any case in which the Secretary determines that, wholly or partially as a result of a public health emergency that has been determined pursuant to subsection (a), individuals or public or private entities are unable to comply with deadlines for the submission to the Secretary of data or reports required under any law administered by the Secretary, the Secretary may, notwithstanding any other provision of law, grant such extensions of such deadlines as the circumstances reasonably require, and may waive, wholly or partially, any sanctions otherwise applicable to such failure to comply. Before or promptly after granting such an extension or waiver, the Secretary shall notify the Congress of such action and publish in the Federal Register a notice of the extension or waiver.

(e) Temporary reassignment of State and local personnel during a public health emergency

(1) Emergency reassignment of federally funded personnel

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and subject to paragraph (2), upon request by the Governor of a State or a tribal organization or such Governor or tribal organization's designee, the Secretary may authorize the requesting State or Indian tribe to temporarily reassign, for purposes of immediately addressing a public health emergency in the State or Indian tribe, State and local public health department or agency personnel funded in whole or in part through programs authorized under this chapter, as appropriate.

(2) Activation of emergency reassignment

(A) Public health emergency

The Secretary may authorize a temporary reassignment of personnel under paragraph (1) only during the period of a public health emergency determined pursuant to subsection (a).

(B) Contents of request

To seek authority for a temporary reassignment of personnel under paragraph (1), the Governor of a State or a tribal organization shall submit to the Secretary a request for such reassignment flexibility and shall include in the request each of the following:

(i) An assurance that the public health emergency in the geographic area of the requesting State or Indian tribe cannot be adequately and appropriately addressed by the public health workforce otherwise available.

(ii) An assurance that the public health emergency would be addressed more efficiently and effectively through the requested temporary reassignment of State and local personnel described in paragraph (1).

(iii) An assurance that the requested temporary reassignment of personnel is consistent with any applicable All-Hazards Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan under section 247d–3a of this title.

(iv) An identification of-

(I) each Federal program from which personnel would be temporarily reassigned pursuant to the requested authority; and

(II) the number of personnel who would be so reassigned from each such program.


(v) Such other information and assurances upon which the Secretary and Governor of a State or tribal organization agree.

(C) Consideration

In reviewing a request for temporary reassignment under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consider the degree to which the program or programs funded in whole or in part by programs authorized under this chapter would be adversely affected by the reassignment.

(D) Termination and extension

(i) Termination

A State or Indian tribe's temporary reassignment of personnel under paragraph (1) shall terminate upon the earlier of the following:

(I) The Secretary's determination that the public health emergency no longer exists.

(II) Subject to clause (ii), the expiration of the 30-day period following the date on which the Secretary approved the State or Indian tribe's request for such reassignment flexibility.

(ii) Extension of reassignment flexibility

The Secretary may extend reassignment flexibility of personnel under paragraph (1) beyond the date otherwise applicable under clause (i)(II) if the public health emergency still exists as of such date, but only if-

(I) the State or Indian tribe that submitted the initial request for a temporary reassignment of personnel submits a request for an extension of such temporary reassignment; and

(II) the request for an extension contains the same information and assurances necessary for the approval of an initial request for such temporary reassignment pursuant to subparagraph (B).

(3) Voluntary nature of temporary reassignment of State and local personnel

(A) In general

Unless otherwise provided under the law or regulation of the State or Indian tribe that receives authorization for temporary reassignment of personnel under paragraph (1), personnel eligible for reassignment pursuant to such authorization-

(i) shall have the opportunity to volunteer for temporary reassignment; and

(ii) shall not be required to agree to a temporary reassignment.

(B) Prohibition on conditioning Federal awards

The Secretary may not condition the award of a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement under this chapter on the requirement that a State or Indian tribe require that personnel eligible for reassignment pursuant to an authorization under paragraph (1) agree to such reassignment.

(4) Notice to Congress

The Secretary shall give notice to the Congress in conjunction with the approval under this subsection of-

(A) any initial request for temporary reassignment of personnel; and

(B) any request for an extension of such temporary reassignment.

(5) Guidance

The Secretary shall-

(A) not later than 6 months after March 13, 2013, issue proposed guidance on the temporary reassignment of personnel under this subsection; and

(B) after providing notice and a 60-day period for public comment, finalize such guidance.

(6) Report to Congress

Not later than 4 years after March 13, 2013, the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct an independent evaluation, and submit to the appropriate committees of the Congress a report, on temporary reassignment under this subsection, including-

(A) a description of how, and under what circumstances, such temporary reassignment has been used by States and Indian tribes;

(B) an analysis of how such temporary reassignment has assisted States and Indian tribes in responding to public health emergencies;

(C) an evaluation of how such temporary reassignment has improved operational efficiencies in responding to public health emergencies;

(D) an analysis of the extent to which, if any, Federal programs from which personnel have been temporarily reassigned have been adversely affected by the reassignment; and

(E) recommendations on how medical surge capacity could be improved in responding to public health emergencies and the impact of the reassignment flexibility under this section on such surge capacity.

(7) Definitions

In this subsection-

(A) the terms "Indian tribe" and "tribal organization" have the meanings given such terms in section 5304 of title 25; and

(B) the term "State" includes, in addition to the entities listed in the definition of such term in section 201 of this title, the Freely Associated States.

(8) Sunset

This subsection shall terminate on September 30, 2023.

(f) Determination with respect to Paperwork Reduction Act waiver during a public health emergency

(1) Determination

If the Secretary determines, after consultation with such public health officials as may be necessary, that-

(A)(i) the criteria set forth for a public health emergency under paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) has been met; or

(ii) a disease or disorder, including a novel and emerging public health threat, is significantly likely to become a public health emergency; and

(B) the circumstances of such public health emergency, or potential for such significantly likely public health emergency, including the specific preparation for and response to such public health emergency or threat, necessitate a waiver from the requirements of subchapter I of chapter 35 of title 44 (commonly referred to as the Paperwork Reduction Act),


then the requirements of such subchapter I with respect to voluntary collection of information shall not be applicable during the immediate investigation of, and response to, such public health emergency during the period of such public health emergency or the period of time necessary to determine if a disease or disorder, including a novel and emerging public health threat, will become a public health emergency as provided for in this paragraph. The requirements of such subchapter I with respect to voluntary collection of information shall not be applicable during the immediate postresponse review regarding such public health emergency if such immediate postresponse review does not exceed a reasonable length of time.

(2) Transparency

If the Secretary determines that a waiver is necessary under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall promptly post on the Internet website of the Department of Health and Human Services a brief justification for such waiver, the anticipated period of time such waiver will be in effect, and the agencies and offices within the Department of Health and Human Services to which such waiver shall apply, and update such information posted on the Internet website of the Department of Health and Human Services, as applicable.

(3) Effectiveness of waiver

Any waiver under this subsection shall take effect on the date on which the Secretary posts information on the Internet website as provided for in this subsection.

(4) Termination of waiver

Upon determining that the circumstances necessitating a waiver under paragraph (1) no longer exist, the Secretary shall promptly update the Internet website of the Department of Health and Human Services to reflect the termination of such waiver.

(5) Limitations

(A) Period of waiver

The period of a waiver under paragraph (1) shall not exceed the period of time for the related public health emergency, including a public health emergency declared pursuant to subsection (a), and any immediate postresponse review regarding the public health emergency consistent with the requirements of this subsection.

(B) Subsequent compliance

An initiative subject to a waiver under paragraph (1) that is ongoing after the date on which the waiver expires, shall be subject to the requirements of subchapter I of chapter 35 of title 44 and the Secretary shall ensure that compliance with such requirements occurs in as timely a manner as possible based on the applicable circumstances, but not to exceed 30 calendar days after the expiration of the applicable waiver.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title III, §319, as added Pub. L. 106–505, title I, §102, Nov. 13, 2000, 114 Stat. 2315 ; amended Pub. L. 107–188, title I, §§141, 144(a), 158, June 12, 2002, 116 Stat. 626 , 630, 633; Pub. L. 113–5, title II, §201, Mar. 13, 2013, 127 Stat. 170 ; Pub. L. 114–255, div. A, title III, §3087, Dec. 13, 2016, 130 Stat. 1147 ; Pub. L. 116–22, title II, §206, title VII, §701(c), June 24, 2019, 133 Stat. 925 , 961.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 247d, act July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title III, §319, as added Pub. L. 98–49, July 13, 1983, 97 Stat. 245 ; amended Pub. L. 100–607, title II, §256(a), Nov. 4, 1988, 102 Stat. 3110 ; Pub. L. 102–321, title I, §163(b)(2), July 10, 1992, 106 Stat. 376 ; Pub. L. 102–531, title III, §312(d)(2), Oct. 27, 1992, 106 Stat. 3504 , authorized the Secretary to take appropriate action relating to public health emergencies, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 106–505, title I, §102, Nov. 13, 2000, 114 Stat. 2315 .

Another prior section 247d, act July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title III, §319, formerly §310, as added Sept. 25, 1962, Pub. L. 87–692, 76 Stat. 592 , and amended and renumbered, which related to migrant health centers, was renumbered section 329 of act July 1, 1944, by Pub. L. 95–626, title I, §102(a), Nov. 10, 1978, 92 Stat. 3551 , and transferred to section 254b of this title, prior to being omitted in the general amendment of subpart I (§254b et seq.) of part D of this subchapter by Pub. L. 104–299, §2.

Amendments

2019-Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 116–22, §206(1)(A), substituted "under such subsection or if the Secretary determines there is the significant potential for a public health emergency, to allow the Secretary to rapidly respond to the immediate needs resulting from such public health emergency or potential public health emergency. The Secretary shall plan for the expedited distribution of funds to appropriate agencies and entities." for "under such subsection."

Subsec. (b)(2), (3). Pub. L. 116–22, §206(1)(B), (C), added par. (2) and redesignated former par. (2) as (3).

Subsec. (b)(4), (5). Pub. L. 116–22, §206(1)(D), added pars. (4) and (5).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 116–22, §206(2), inserted "rapidly respond to public health emergencies or potential public health emergencies and" after "used to" and substituted "activities under this chapter or funds otherwise provided for emergency response." for "activities under this section."

Subsec. (e)(8). Pub. L. 116–22, §701(c), substituted "2023" for "2018".

2016-Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 114–255 added subsec. (f).

2013-Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 113–5 added subsec. (e).

2002-Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 107–188, §158, substituted "grants, providing awards for expenses, and" for "grants and" in concluding provisions.

Pub. L. 107–188, §144(a), inserted at end of concluding provisions "Any such determination of a public health emergency terminates upon the Secretary declaring that the emergency no longer exists, or upon the expiration of the 90-day period beginning on the date on which the determination is made by the Secretary, whichever occurs first. Determinations that terminate under the preceding sentence may be renewed by the Secretary (on the basis of the same or additional facts), and the preceding sentence applies to each such renewal. Not later than 48 hours after making a determination under this subsection of a public health emergency (including a renewal), the Secretary shall submit to the Congress written notification of the determination."

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 107–188, §141, added subsec. (d).

Change of Name

Committee on Commerce of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Energy and Commerce of House of Representatives, and jurisdiction over matters relating to securities and exchanges and insurance generally transferred to Committee on Financial Services of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 5, One Hundred Seventh Congress, Jan. 3, 2001.

Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

Pub. L. 107–188, title I, §144(b), June 12, 2002, 116 Stat. 630 , provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] applies to any public health emergency under section 319(a) of the Public Health Service Act [42 U.S.C. 247d(a)], including any such emergency that was in effect as of the day before the date of the enactment of this Act [June 12, 2002]. In the case of such an emergency that was in effect as of such day, the 90-day period described in such section with respect to the termination of the emergency is deemed to begin on such date of enactment."

Funding for COVID–19 Vaccine Activities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Pub. L. 117–2, title II, §2301, Mar. 11, 2021, 135 Stat. 37 , provided that:

"(a) In General.-In addition to amounts otherwise available, there is appropriated to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (in this subtitle [Subtitle D (§§2301–2305) of title II of Pub. L. 117–2, see Tables for classification] referred to as the 'Secretary') for fiscal year 2021, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $7,500,000,000, to remain available until expended, to carry out activities to plan, prepare for, promote, distribute, administer, monitor, and track COVID–19 vaccines.

"(b) Use of Funds.-The Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in consultation with other agencies, as applicable, shall, in conducting activities referred to in subsection (a)-

"(1) conduct activities to enhance, expand, and improve nationwide COVID–19 vaccine distribution and administration, including activities related to distribution of ancillary medical products and supplies related to vaccines; and

"(2) provide technical assistance, guidance, and support to, and award grants or cooperative agreements to, State, local, Tribal, and territorial public health departments for enhancement of COVID–19 vaccine distribution and administration capabilities, including-

"(A) the distribution and administration of vaccines licensed under section 351 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 262) or authorized under section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 360bbb–3) and ancillary medical products and supplies related to vaccines;

"(B) the establishment and expansion, including staffing support, of community vaccination centers, particularly in underserved areas;

"(C) the deployment of mobile vaccination units, particularly in underserved areas;

"(D) information technology, standards-based data, and reporting enhancements, including improvements necessary to support standards-based sharing of data related to vaccine distribution and vaccinations and systems that enhance vaccine safety, effectiveness, and uptake, particularly among underserved populations;

"(E) facilities enhancements;

"(F) communication with the public regarding when, where, and how to receive COVID–19 vaccines; and

"(G) transportation of individuals to facilitate vaccinations, including at community vaccination centers and mobile vaccination units, particularly for underserved populations.

"(c) Supplemental Funding for State Vaccination Grants.-

"(1) Definitions.-In this subsection:

"(A) Base formula.-The term 'base formula' means the allocation formula that applied to the Public Health Emergency Preparedness cooperative agreement in fiscal year 2020.

"(B) Alternative allocation.-The term 'alternative allocation' means an allocation to each State, territory, or locality calculated using the percentage derived from the allocation received by such State, territory, or locality of the aggregate amount of fiscal year 2020 Public Health Emergency Preparedness cooperative agreement awards under section 319C–1 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 247d–3a).

"(2) Supplemental funding.-

"(A) In general.-Not later than 21 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Mar. 11, 2021], the Secretary shall, out of amounts described in subsection (a), provide supplemental funding to any State, locality, or territory that received less of the amounts that were appropriated under title III of division M of Public Law 116–260 [see Tables for classification] for vaccination grants to be issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention than such State, locality, or territory would have received had such amounts been allocated using the alternative allocation.

"(B) Amount.-The amount of supplemental funding provided under this subsection shall be equal to the difference between-

"(i) the amount the State, locality, or territory received, or would receive, under the base formula; and

"(ii) the amount the State, locality, or territory would receive under the alternative allocation."

Funding for COVID–19 Testing, Contact Tracing, and Mitigation Activities

Pub. L. 117–2, title II, §2401, Mar. 11, 2021, 135 Stat. 40 , provided that:

"(a) In General.-In addition to amounts otherwise available, there is appropriated to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (in this subtitle [Subtitle E (§§2401–2404) of title II of Pub. L. 117–2, see Tables for classification] referred to as the 'Secretary') for fiscal year 2021, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $47,800,000,000, to remain available until expended, to carry out activities to detect, diagnose, trace, and monitor SARS–CoV–2 and COVID–19 infections and related strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID–19.

"(b) Use of Funds.-From amounts appropriated by subsection (a), the Secretary shall-

"(1) implement a national, evidence-based strategy for testing, contact tracing, surveillance, and mitigation with respect to SARS–CoV–2 and COVID–19, including through activities authorized under section 319(a) of the Public Health Service Act [42 U.S.C. 247d(a)];

"(2) provide technical assistance, guidance, and support, and award grants or cooperative agreements to State, local, and territorial public health departments for activities to detect, diagnose, trace, and monitor SARS–CoV–2 and COVID–19 infections and related strategies and activities to mitigate the spread of COVID–19;

"(3) support the development, manufacturing, procurement, distribution, and administration of tests to detect or diagnose SARS–CoV–2 and COVID–19, including through-

"(A) support for the development, manufacture, procurement, and distribution of supplies necessary for administering tests, such as personal protective equipment; and

"(B) support for the acquisition, construction, alteration, or renovation of non-federally owned facilities for the production of diagnostics and ancillary medical products and supplies where the Secretary determines that such an investment is necessary to ensure the production of sufficient amounts of such supplies;

"(4) establish and expand Federal, State, local, and territorial testing and contact tracing capabilities, including-

"(A) through investments in laboratory capacity, such as-

"(i) academic and research laboratories, or other laboratories that could be used for processing of COVID–19 testing;

"(ii) community-based testing sites and community-based organizations; or

"(iii) mobile health units, particularly in medically underserved areas; and

"(B) with respect to quarantine and isolation of contacts;

"(5) enhance information technology, data modernization, and reporting, including improvements necessary to support sharing of data related to public health capabilities;

"(6) award grants to, or enter into cooperative agreements or contracts with, State, local, and territorial public health departments to establish, expand, and sustain a public health workforce; and

"(7) to cover administrative and program support costs necessary to conduct activities related to subparagraph (a)."

Importance of the Blood Supply

Pub. L. 116–136, div. A, title III, §3226, Mar. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 383 , provided that:

"(a) In General.-The Secretary of Health and Human Services (referred to in this section as the 'Secretary') shall carry out a national campaign to improve awareness of, and support outreach to the public and health care providers about the importance and safety of blood donation and the need for donations for the blood supply during the public health emergency declared by the Secretary under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 247d) with respect to COVID–19.

"(b) Awareness Campaign.-In carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary may enter into contracts with one or more public or private nonprofit entities, to establish a national blood donation awareness campaign that may include television, radio, internet, and newspaper public service announcements, and other activities to provide for public and professional awareness and education.

"(c) Consultation.-In carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary shall consult with the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, the Assistant Secretary for Health, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, and the heads of other relevant Federal agencies, and relevant accrediting bodies and representative organizations.

"(d) Report to Congress.-Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act [Mar. 27, 2020], the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives, a report that shall include-

"(1) a description of the activities carried out under subsection (a);

"(2) a description of trends in blood supply donations; and

"(3) an evaluation of the impact of the public awareness campaign, including any geographic or population variations."

Reporting by Laboratories of Results of Tests To Detect SARS–CoV–2 or To Diagnose COVID–19

Pub. L. 116–136, div. B, title VIII, §18115(a)–(c), Mar. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 574 , provided that:

"(a) In General.-Every laboratory that performs or analyzes a test that is intended to detect SARS–CoV–2 or to diagnose a possible case of COVID–19 shall report the results from each such test, to the Secretary of Health and Human Services in such form and manner, and at such timing and frequency, as the Secretary may prescribe until the end of the Secretary's Public Health Emergency declaration with respect to COVID–19 or any extension of such declaration.

"(b) Laboratories Covered.-The Secretary may prescribe which laboratories must submit reports pursuant to this section.

"(c) Implementation.-The Secretary may make prescriptions under this section by regulation, including by interim final rule, or by guidance, and may issue such regulations or guidance without regard to the procedures otherwise required by section 553 of title 5, United States Code."

Ex. Ord. No. 13987. Organizing and Mobilizing the United States Government To Provide a Unified and Effective Response To Combat COVID–19 and To Provide United States Leadership on Global Health and Security

Ex. Ord. No. 13987, Jan. 20, 2021, 86 F.R. 7019, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Purpose. The Federal Government must act swiftly and aggressively to combat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19). To that end, this order creates the position of Coordinator of the COVID–19 Response and Counselor to the President and takes other steps to organize the White House and activities of the Federal Government to combat COVID–19 and prepare for future biological and pandemic threats.

Sec. 2. Organizing the White House to Combat COVID–19. (a) In order to effectively, fully, and immediately respond to COVID–19, there is established within the Executive Office of the President the position of Coordinator of the COVID–19 Response and Counselor to the President (COVID–19 Response Coordinator) and the position of Deputy Coordinator of the COVID–19 Response. The COVID–19 Response Coordinator shall report directly to the President; advise and assist the President and executive departments and agencies (agencies) in responding to the COVID–19 pandemic; coordinate all elements of the COVID–19 response; and perform such duties as the President may otherwise direct. These duties shall include:

(i) coordinating a Government-wide effort to reduce disparities in the response, care, and treatment of COVID–19, including racial and ethnic disparities;

(ii) coordinating the Federal Government's efforts to produce, supply, and distribute personal protective equipment, vaccines, tests, and other supplies for the Nation's COVID–19 response, including through the use of the Defense Production Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 4501 et seq.);

(iii) coordinating the Federal Government's efforts to expand COVID–19 testing and the use of testing as an effective public health response;

(iv) coordinating the Federal Government's efforts to support the timely, safe, and effective delivery of COVID–19 vaccines to the United States population;

(v) coordinating the Federal Government's efforts to support the safe reopening and operation of schools, child care providers, and Head Start programs, and to help ensure the continuity of educational and other services for young children and elementary and secondary students during the COVID–19 pandemic; and

(vi) coordinating, as appropriate, with State, local, Tribal, and territorial authorities.

(b) The COVID–19 Response Coordinator shall have the authority to convene principals from relevant agencies, in consultation with the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy (APDP) on matters involving the domestic COVID–19 response, and in consultation with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA) on matters involving the global COVID–19 response. The COVID–19 Response Coordinator shall also coordinate any corresponding deputies and interagency processes.

(c) The COVID–19 Response Coordinator may act through designees in performing these or any other duties.

Sec. 3. United States Leadership on Global Health and Security and the Global COVID–19 Response.

(a) Preparing to Respond to Biological Threats and Pandemics. To identify, monitor, prepare for, and, if necessary, respond to emerging biological and pandemic threats:

(i) The APNSA shall convene the National Security Council (NSC) Principals Committee as necessary to coordinate the Federal Government's efforts to address such threats and to advise the President on the global response to and recovery from COVID–19, including matters regarding: the intersection of the COVID–19 response and other national security equities; global health security; engaging with and strengthening the World Health Organization; public health, access to healthcare, and the secondary impacts of COVID–19; and emerging biological risks and threats, whether naturally occurring, deliberate, or accidental.

(ii) Within 180 days of the date of this order [Jan. 20, 2021], the APNSA shall, in coordination with relevant agencies, the COVID–19 Response Coordinator, and the APDP, complete a review of and recommend actions to the President concerning emerging domestic and global biological risks and national biopreparedness policies. The review and recommended actions shall incorporate lessons from the COVID–19 pandemic and, among other things, address: the readiness of the pandemic supply chain, healthcare workforce, and hospitals; the development of a framework of pandemic readiness with specific triggers for when agencies should take action in response to large-scale biological events; pandemic border readiness; the development and distribution of medical countermeasures; epidemic forecasting and modeling; public health data modernization; bio-related intelligence; bioeconomic investments; biotechnology risks; the development of a framework for coordinating with and distributing responsibilities as between the Federal Government and State, local, Tribal, and territorial authorities; and State, local, Tribal, and territorial preparedness for biological events.

(b) NSC Directorate on Global Health Security and Biodefense. There shall be an NSC Directorate on Global Health Security and Biodefense, which shall be headed by a Senior Director for Global Health Security and Biodefense. The Senior Director shall be responsible for monitoring current and emerging biological threats, and shall report concurrently to the APNSA and to the COVID–19 Response Coordinator on matters relating to COVID–19. The Senior Director shall oversee the Global Health Security Agenda Interagency Review Council, which was established pursuant to Executive Order 13747 of November 4, 2016 (Advancing the Global Health Security Agenda To Achieve a World Safe and Secure From Infectious Disease Threats) [50 U.S.C. 3021 note], and is hereby reconvened as described in that order.

(c) Responsibility for National Biodefense Preparedness. Notwithstanding any statements in the National Security Presidential Memorandum–14 of September 18, 2018 (Support for National Biodefense), the APNSA shall be responsible for coordinating the Nation's biodefense preparedness efforts, and, as stated in sections 1 and 2 of this order, the COVID–19 Response Coordinator shall be responsible for coordinating the Federal Government's response to the COVID–19 pandemic.

Sec. 4. Prompt Resolution of Issues Related to the United States COVID–19 Response. The heads of agencies shall, as soon as practicable, bring any procedural, departmental, legal, or funding obstacle to the COVID–19 response to the attention of the COVID–19 Response Coordinator. The COVID–19 Response Coordinator shall, in coordination with relevant agencies, the APDP, and the APNSA, as appropriate, immediately bring to the President's attention any issues that require Presidential guidance or decision-making.

Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

J.R. Biden, Jr.      

Ex. Ord. No. 13991. Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing

Ex. Ord. No. 13991, Jan. 20, 2021, 86 F.R. 7045, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 7902(c) of title 5, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of my Administration to halt the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) by relying on the best available data and science-based public health measures. Such measures include wearing masks when around others, physical distancing, and other related precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Put simply, masks and other public health measures reduce the spread of the disease, particularly when communities make widespread use of such measures, and thus save lives.

Accordingly, to protect the Federal workforce and individuals interacting with the Federal workforce, and to ensure the continuity of Government services and activities, on-duty or on-site Federal employees, on-site Federal contractors, and other individuals in Federal buildings and on Federal lands should all wear masks, maintain physical distance, and adhere to other public health measures, as provided in CDC guidelines.

Sec. 2. Immediate Action Regarding Federal Employees, Contractors, Buildings, and Lands. (a) The heads of executive departments and agencies (agencies) shall immediately take action, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to require compliance with CDC guidelines with respect to wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and other public health measures by: on-duty or on-site Federal employees; on-site Federal contractors; and all persons in Federal buildings or on Federal lands.

(b) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Administrator of General Services, in coordination with the President's Management Council and the Coordinator of the COVID–19 Response and Counselor to the President (COVID–19 Response Coordinator), shall promptly issue guidance to assist heads of agencies with implementation of this section.

(c) Heads of agencies shall promptly consult, as appropriate, with State, local, Tribal, and territorial government officials, Federal employees, Federal employee unions, Federal contractors, and any other interested parties concerning the implementation of this section.

(d) Heads of agencies may make categorical or case-by-case exceptions in implementing subsection (a) of this section to the extent that doing so is necessary or required by law, and consistent with applicable law. If heads of agencies make such exceptions, they shall require appropriate alternative safeguards, such as additional physical distancing measures, additional testing, or reconfiguration of workspace, consistent with applicable law. Heads of agencies shall document all exceptions in writing.

(e) Heads of agencies shall review their existing authorities and, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations and resources, seek to provide masks to individuals in Federal buildings when needed.

(f) The COVID–19 Response Coordinator shall coordinate the implementation of this section. Heads of the agencies listed in 31 U.S.C. 901(b) shall update the COVID–19 Response Coordinator on their progress in implementing this section, including any categorical exceptions established under subsection (d) of this section, within 7 days of the date of this order [Jan. 20, 2021] and regularly thereafter. Heads of agencies are encouraged to bring to the attention of the COVID–19 Response Coordinator any questions regarding the scope or implementation of this section.

Sec. 3. Encouraging Masking Across America. (a) The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), including through the Director of CDC, shall engage, as appropriate, with State, local, Tribal, and territorial officials, as well as business, union, academic, and other community leaders, regarding mask-wearing and other public health measures, with the goal of maximizing public compliance with, and addressing any obstacles to, mask-wearing and other public health best practices identified by CDC.

(b) The COVID–19 Response Coordinator, in coordination with the Secretary of HHS, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the heads of other relevant agencies, shall promptly identify and inform agencies of options to incentivize, support, and encourage widespread mask-wearing consistent with CDC guidelines and applicable law.

Sec. 4. Safer Federal Workforce Task Force.

(a) Establishment. There is hereby established the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (Task Force).

(b) Membership. The Task Force shall consist of the following members:

(i) the Director of OPM, who shall serve as Co-Chair;

(ii) the Administrator of General Services, who shall serve as Co-Chair;

(iii) the COVID–19 Response Coordinator, who shall serve as Co-Chair;

(iv) the Director of OMB;

(v) the Director of the Federal Protective Service;

(vi) the Director of the United States Secret Service;

(vii) the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency;

(viii) the Director of CDC; and

(ix) the heads of such other agencies as the Co-Chairs may individually or jointly invite to participate.

(c) Organization. A member of the Task Force may designate, to perform the Task Force functions of the member, a senior-level official who is a full-time officer or employee of the member's agency. At the direction of the Co-Chairs, the Task Force may establish subgroups consisting exclusively of Task Force members or their designees, as appropriate.

(d) Administration. The General Services Administration shall provide funding and administrative support for the Task Force to the extent permitted by law and within existing appropriations. The Co-Chairs shall convene regular meetings of the Task Force, determine its agenda, and direct its work.

(e) Mission. The Task Force shall provide ongoing guidance to heads of agencies on the operation of the Federal Government, the safety of its employees, and the continuity of Government functions during the COVID–19 pandemic. Such guidance shall be based on public health best practices as determined by CDC and other public health experts, and shall address, at a minimum, the following subjects as they relate to the Federal workforce:

(i) testing methodologies and protocols;

(ii) case investigation and contact tracing;

(iii) requirements of and limitations on physical distancing, including recommended occupancy and density standards;

(iv) equipment needs and requirements, including personal protective equipment;

(v) air filtration;

(vi) enhanced environmental disinfection and cleaning;

(vii) safe commuting and telework options;

(viii) enhanced technological infrastructure to support telework;

(ix) vaccine prioritization, distribution, and administration;

(x) approaches for coordinating with State, local, Tribal, and territorial health officials, as well as business, union, academic, and other community leaders;

(xi) any management infrastructure needed by agencies to implement public health guidance; and

(xii) circumstances under which exemptions might appropriately be made to agency policies in accordance with CDC guidelines, such as for mission-critical purposes.

(f) Agency Cooperation. The head of each agency listed in 31 U.S.C. 901(b) shall, consistent with applicable law, promptly provide the Task Force a report on COVID–19 safety protocols, safety plans, or guidance regarding the operation of the agency and the safety of its employees, and any other information that the head of the agency deems relevant to the Task Force's work.

Sec. 5. Federal Employee Testing. The Secretary of HHS, through the Director of CDC, shall promptly develop and submit to the COVID–19 Response Coordinator a testing plan for the Federal workforce. This plan shall be based on community transmission metrics and address the populations to be tested, testing types, frequency of testing, positive case protocols, and coordination with local public health authorities for contact tracing.

Sec. 6. Research and Development. The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, in consultation with the Secretary of HHS (through the National Science and Technology Council), the Director of OMB, the Director of CDC, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, the Director of the National Science Foundation, and the heads of any other appropriate agencies, shall assess the availability of Federal research grants to study best practices for implementing, and innovations to better implement, effective mask-wearing and physical distancing policies, with respect to both the Federal workforce and the general public.

Sec. 7. Scope. (a) For purposes of this order:

(i) "Federal employees" and "Federal contractors" mean employees (including members of the Armed Forces and members of the National Guard in Federal service) and contractors (including such contractors' employees) working for the executive branch;

(ii) "Federal buildings" means buildings, or office space within buildings, owned, rented, or leased by the executive branch of which a substantial portion of occupants are Federal employees or Federal contractors; and

(iii) "Federal lands" means lands under executive branch control.

(b) The Director of OPM and the Administrator of General Services shall seek to consult, in coordination with the heads of any other relevant agencies and the COVID–19 Response Coordinator, with the Sergeants at Arms of the Senate and the House of Representatives and the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (or such other persons designated by the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate, the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House, or the Chief Justice of the United States, respectively), to promote mask-wearing, physical distancing, and adherence to other public health measures within the legislative and judicial branches, and shall provide requested technical assistance as needed to facilitate compliance with CDC guidelines.

Sec. 8. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) Independent agencies are strongly encouraged to comply with the requirements of this order.

(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

J.R. Biden, Jr.      

Ex. Ord. No. 13994. Ensuring a Data-Driven Response to COVID–19 and Future High-Consequence Public Health Threats

Ex. Ord. No. 13994, Jan. 21, 2021, 86 F.R. 7189, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of my Administration to respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) pandemic through effective approaches guided by the best available science and data, including by building back a better public health infrastructure. This stronger public health infrastructure must help the Nation effectively prevent, detect, and respond to future biological threats, both domestically and internationally.

Consistent with this policy, the heads of all executive departments and agencies (agencies) shall facilitate the gathering, sharing, and publication of COVID–19-related data, in coordination with the Coordinator of the COVID–19 Response and Counselor to the President (COVID–19 Response Coordinator), to the extent permitted by law, and with appropriate protections for confidentiality, privacy, law enforcement, and national security. These efforts shall assist Federal, State, local, Tribal, and territorial authorities in developing and implementing policies to facilitate informed community decision-making, to further public understanding of the pandemic and the response, and to deter the spread of misinformation and disinformation.

Sec. 2. Enhancing Data Collection and Collaboration Capabilities for High-Consequence Public Health Threats, Such as the COVID–19 Pandemic. (a) The Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Secretary of Education, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and the Director of the National Science Foundation shall each promptly designate a senior official to serve as their agency's lead to work on COVID–19- and pandemic-related data issues. This official, in consultation with the COVID–19 Response Coordinator, shall take steps to make data relevant to high-consequence public health threats, such as the COVID–19 pandemic, publicly available and accessible.

(b) The COVID–19 Response Coordinator shall, as necessary, convene appropriate representatives from relevant agencies to coordinate the agencies' collection, provision, and analysis of data, including key equity indicators, regarding the COVID–19 response, as well as their sharing of such data with State, local, Tribal, and territorial authorities.

(c) The Director of OMB, in consultation with the Director of OSTP, the United States Chief Technology Officer, and the COVID–19 Response Coordinator, shall promptly review the Federal Government's existing approaches to open data, and shall issue supplemental guidance, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, concerning how to de-identify COVID–19-related data; how to make data open to the public in human- and machine-readable formats as rapidly as possible; and any other topic the Director of OMB concludes would appropriately advance the policy of this order. Any guidance shall include appropriate protections for the information described in section 5 of this order.

(d) The Director of the Office of Personnel Management, in consultation with the Director of OMB, shall promptly:

(i) review the ability of agencies to hire personnel expeditiously into roles related to information technology and the collection, provision, analysis, or other use of data to address high-consequence public health threats, such as the COVID–19 pandemic; and

(ii) take action, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to support agencies in such efforts.

Sec. 3. Public Health Data Systems. The Secretary of HHS, in consultation with the COVID–19 Response Coordinator and the heads of relevant agencies, shall promptly:

(a) review the effectiveness, interoperability, and connectivity of public health data systems supporting the detection of and response to high-consequence public health threats, such as the COVID–19 pandemic;

(b) review the collection of morbidity and mortality data by State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments during high-consequence public health threats, such as the COVID–19 pandemic; and

(c) issue a report summarizing the findings of the reviews detailed in subsections (a) and (b) of this section and any recommendations for addressing areas for improvement identified in the reviews.

Sec. 4. Advancing Innovation in Public Health Data and Analytics. The Director of OSTP, in coordination with the National Science and Technology Council, as appropriate, shall develop a plan for advancing innovation in public health data and analytics in the United States.

Sec. 5. Privileged Information. Nothing in this order shall compel or authorize the disclosure of privileged information, law-enforcement information, national-security information, personal information, or information the disclosure of which is prohibited by law.

Sec. 6. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

J.R. Biden, Jr.      

Ex. Ord. No. 13995. Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery

Ex. Ord. No. 13995, Jan. 21, 2021, 86 F.R. 7193, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to address the disproportionate and severe impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) on communities of color and other underserved populations, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Purpose. The COVID–19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated severe and pervasive health and social inequities in America. For instance, people of color experience systemic and structural racism in many facets of our society and are more likely to become sick and die from COVID–19. The lack of complete data, disaggregated by race and ethnicity, on COVID–19 infection, hospitalization, and mortality rates, as well as underlying health and social vulnerabilities, has further hampered efforts to ensure an equitable pandemic response. Other communities, often obscured in the data, are also disproportionately affected by COVID–19, including sexual and gender minority groups, those living with disabilities, and those living at the margins of our economy. Observed inequities in rural and Tribal communities, territories, and other geographically isolated communities require a place-based approach to data collection and the response. Despite increased State and local efforts to address these inequities, COVID–19's disparate impact on communities of color and other underserved populations remains unrelenting.

Addressing this devastating toll is both a moral imperative and pragmatic policy. It is impossible to change the course of the pandemic without tackling it in the hardest-hit communities. In order to identify and eliminate health and social inequities resulting in disproportionately higher rates of exposure, illness, and death, I am directing a Government-wide effort to address health equity. The Federal Government must take swift action to prevent and remedy differences in COVID–19 care and outcomes within communities of color and other underserved populations.

Sec. 2. COVID–19 Health Equity Task Force. There is established within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) a COVID–19 Health Equity Task Force (Task Force).

(a) Membership. The Task Force shall consist of the Secretary of HHS; an individual designated by the Secretary of HHS to Chair the Task Force (COVID–19 Health Equity Task Force Chair); the heads of such other executive departments, agencies, or offices (agencies) as the Chair may invite; and up to 20 members from sectors outside of the Federal Government appointed by the President.

(i) Federal members may designate, to perform the Task Force functions of the member, a senior-level official who is a part of the member's agency and a full-time officer or employee of the Federal Government.

(ii) Nonfederal members shall include individuals with expertise and lived experience relevant to groups suffering disproportionate rates of illness and death in the United States; individuals with expertise and lived experience relevant to equity in public health, health care, education, housing, and community-based services; and any other individuals with expertise the President deems relevant. Appointments shall be made without regard to political affiliation and shall reflect a diverse set of perspectives.

(iii) Members of the Task Force shall serve without compensation for their work on the Task Force, but members shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by law for persons serving intermittently in the Government service (5 U.S.C. 5701–5707).

(iv) At the direction of the Chair, the Task Force may establish subgroups consisting exclusively of Task Force members or their designees under this section, as appropriate.

(b) Mission and Work.

(i) Consistent with applicable law and as soon as practicable, the Task Force shall provide specific recommendations to the President, through the Coordinator of the COVID–19 Response and Counselor to the President (COVID–19 Response Coordinator), for mitigating the health inequities caused or exacerbated by the COVID–19 pandemic and for preventing such inequities in the future. The recommendations shall include:

(A) recommendations for how agencies and State, local, Tribal, and territorial officials can best allocate COVID–19 resources, in light of disproportionately high rates of COVID–19 infection, hospitalization, and mortality in certain communities and disparities in COVID–19 outcomes by race, ethnicity, and other factors, to the extent permitted by law;

(B) recommendations for agencies with responsibility for disbursing COVID–19 relief funding regarding how to disburse funds in a manner that advances equity; and

(C) recommendations for agencies regarding effective, culturally aligned communication, messaging, and outreach to communities of color and other underserved populations.

(ii) The Task Force shall submit a final report to the COVID–19 Response Coordinator addressing any ongoing health inequities faced by COVID–19 survivors that may merit a public health response, describing the factors that contributed to disparities in COVID–19 outcomes, and recommending actions to combat such disparities in future pandemic responses.

(c) Data Collection. To address the data shortfalls identified in section 1 of this order, and consistent with applicable law, the Task Force shall:

(i) collaborate with the heads of relevant agencies, consistent with the Executive Order entitled "Ensuring a Data-Driven Response to COVID–19 and Future High-Consequence Public Health Threats," [Ex. Ord. No. 13994, set out above] to develop recommendations for expediting data collection for communities of color and other underserved populations and identifying data sources, proxies, or indices that would enable development of short-term targets for pandemic-related actions for such communities and populations;

(ii) develop, in collaboration with the heads of relevant agencies, a set of longer-term recommendations to address these data shortfalls and other foundational data challenges, including those relating to data intersectionality, that must be tackled in order to better prepare and respond to future pandemics; and

(iii) submit the recommendations described in this subsection to the President, through the COVID–19 Response Coordinator.

(d) External Engagement. Consistent with the objectives set out in this order and with applicable law, the Task Force may seek the views of health professionals; policy experts; State, local, Tribal, and territorial health officials; faith-based leaders; businesses; health providers; community organizations; those with lived experience with homelessness, incarceration, discrimination, and other relevant issues; and other stakeholders.

(e) Administration. Insofar as the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), may apply to the Task Force, any functions of the President under the Act, except for those in section 6 of the Act, shall be performed by the Secretary of HHS in accordance with the guidelines that have been issued by the Administrator of General Services. HHS shall provide funding and administrative support for the Task Force to the extent permitted by law and within existing appropriations. The Chair shall convene regular meetings of the Task Force, determine its agenda, and direct its work. The Chair shall designate an Executive Director of the Task Force, who shall coordinate the work of the Task Force and head any staff assigned to the Task Force.

(f) Termination. Unless extended by the President, the Task Force shall terminate within 30 days of accomplishing the objectives set forth in this order, including the delivery of the report and recommendations specified in this section, or 2 years from the date of this order [Jan. 21, 2021], whichever comes first.

Sec. 3. Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response. To address the inequities identified in section 1 of this order, it is hereby directed that:

(a) The Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of HHS, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Secretary of Education, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the heads of all other agencies with authorities or responsibilities relating to the pandemic response and recovery shall, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law:

(i) consult with the Task Force to strengthen equity data collection, reporting, and use related to COVID–19;

(ii) assess pandemic response plans and policies to determine whether personal protective equipment, tests, vaccines, therapeutics, and other resources have been or will be allocated equitably, including by considering:

(A) the disproportionately high rates of COVID–19 infection, hospitalization, and mortality in certain communities; and

(B) any barriers that have restricted access to preventive measures, treatment, and other health services for high-risk populations;

(iii) based on the assessments described in subsection (a)(ii) of this section, modify pandemic response plans and policies to advance equity, with consideration to:

(A) the effect of proposed policy changes on the distribution of resources to, and access to health care by, communities of color and other underserved populations;

(B) the effect of proposed policy changes on agencies' ability to collect, analyze, and report data necessary to monitor and evaluate the impact of pandemic response plans and policies on communities of color and other underserved populations; and

(C) policy priorities expressed by communities that have suffered disproportionate rates of illness and death as a result of the pandemic;

(iv) strengthen enforcement of anti-discrimination requirements pertaining to the availability of, and access to, COVID–19 care and treatment; and

(v) partner with States, localities, Tribes, and territories to explore mechanisms to provide greater assistance to individuals and families experiencing disproportionate economic or health effects from COVID–19, such as by expanding access to food, housing, child care, or income support.

(b) The Secretary of HHS shall:

(i) provide recommendations to State, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders on how to facilitate the placement of contact tracers and other workers in communities that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, recruit such workers from those communities, and connect such workers to existing health workforce training programs and other career advancement programs; and

(ii) conduct an outreach campaign to promote vaccine trust and uptake among communities of color and other underserved populations with higher levels of vaccine mistrust due to discriminatory medical treatment and research, and engage with leaders within those communities.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

J.R. Biden, Jr.      

Ex. Ord. No. 13996. Establishing the COVID–19 Pandemic Testing Board and Ensuring a Sustainable Public Health Workforce for COVID–19 and Other Biological Threats

Ex. Ord. No. 13996, Jan. 21, 2021, 86 F.R. 7197, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 301 of title 3, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of my Administration to control coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) by using a Government-wide, unified approach that includes: establishing a national COVID–19 testing and public health workforce strategy; working to expand the supply of tests; working to bring test manufacturing to the United States, where possible; working to enhance laboratory testing capacity; working to expand the public health workforce; supporting screening testing for schools and priority populations; and ensuring a clarity of messaging about the use of tests and insurance coverage.

Sec. 2. COVID–19 Pandemic Testing Board.

(a) Establishment and Membership. There is established a COVID–19 Pandemic Testing Board (Testing Board), chaired by the Coordinator of the COVID–19 Response and Counselor to the President (COVID–19 Response Coordinator) or his designee. The Testing Board shall include representatives from executive departments and agencies (agencies) that are designated by the President. The heads of agencies so designated shall designate officials from their respective agencies to represent them on the Testing Board.

(b) Mission and Functions. To support the implementation and oversight of the policy laid out in section 1 of this order, the Testing Board shall:

(i) coordinate Federal Government efforts to promote COVID–19 diagnostic, screening, and surveillance testing;

(ii) make recommendations to the President with respect to prioritizing the Federal Government's assistance to State, local, Tribal, and territorial authorities, in order to expand testing and reduce disparities in access to testing;

(iii) identify barriers to access and use of testing in, and coordinate Federal Government efforts to increase testing for:

(A) priority populations, including healthcare workers and other essential workers;

(B) communities with major shortages in testing availability and use;

(C) at-risk settings, including long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, immigration custodial settings, detention facilities, schools, child care settings, and food processing and manufacturing facilities; and

(D) high-risk groups, including people experiencing homelessness, migrants, and seasonal workers;

(iv) identify methods to expand State, local, Tribal, and territorial capacity to conduct testing, contact tracing, and isolation and quarantine, in order for schools, businesses, and travel to be conducted safely;

(v) provide guidance on how to enhance the clarity, consistency, and transparency of Federal Government communication with the public about the goals and purposes of testing;

(vi) identify options for the Federal Government to maximize testing capacity of commercial labs and academic labs; and

(vii) propose short- and long-term reforms for the Federal Government to: increase State, local, Tribal, and territorial capacity to conduct testing; expand genomic sequencing; and improve the effectiveness and speed of the Federal Government's response to future pandemics and other biological emergencies.

(d) The Chair of the Testing Board shall coordinate with the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the heads of other relevant agencies or their designees, as necessary, to ensure that the Testing Board's work is coordinated with the Public Health Emergency Countermeasures Enterprise within HHS.

Sec. 3. Actions to Address the Cost of COVID–19 Testing. (a) The Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of HHS, and the Secretary of Labor, in coordination with the COVID–19 Response Coordinator, shall promptly, and as appropriate and consistent with applicable law:

(i) facilitate the provision of COVID–19 testing free of charge to those who lack comprehensive health insurance; and

(ii) clarify group health plans' and health insurance issuers' obligations to provide coverage for COVID–19 testing.

(b) The Secretary of HHS, the Secretary of Education, and the Secretary of Homeland Security, through the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the COVID–19 Response Coordinator, shall promptly, and as appropriate and consistent with applicable law:

(i) provide support for surveillance tests for settings such as schools; and

(ii) expand equitable access to COVID–19 testing.

Sec. 4. Establishing a Public Health Workforce Program. (a) The Secretary of HHS and the Secretary of Labor shall promptly consult with State, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders to understand the challenges they face in pandemic response efforts, including challenges recruiting and training sufficient personnel to ensure adequate and equitable community-based testing, and testing in schools and high-risk settings.

(b) The Secretary of HHS shall, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, as soon as practicable:

(i) provide technical support to State, local, Tribal, and territorial public health agencies with respect to testing and contact-tracing efforts; and

(ii) assist such authorities in the training of public health workers. This may include technical assistance to non-Federal public health workforces in connection with testing, contact tracing, and mass vaccinations, as well as other urgent public health workforce needs, such as combating opioid use.

(c) The Secretary of HHS shall submit to the President, through the COVID–19 Response Coordinator, the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy (APDP), and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA), a plan detailing:

(i) how the Secretary of HHS would deploy personnel in response to future high-consequence public health threats; and

(ii) five-year targets and budget requirements for achieving a sustainable public health workforce, as well as options for expanding HHS capacity, such as by expanding the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and Epidemic Intelligence Service, so that the Department can better respond to future pandemics and other biological threats.

(d) The Secretary of HHS, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Education, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service, in coordination with the COVID–19 Response Coordinator, the APDP, and the APNSA, shall submit a plan to the President for establishing a national contact tracing and COVID–19 public health workforce program, to be known as the U.S. Public Health Job Corps, which shall be modeled on or developed as a component of the FEMA Corps program. Such plan shall include means by which the U.S. Public Health Job Corps can be part of the National Civilian Community Corps program, as well as recommendations about whether it would be appropriate for the U.S. Public Health Job Corps to immediately assign personnel from any of the agencies involved in the creation of the plan, including existing AmeriCorps members, to join or aid the U.S. Public Health Job Corps. The U.S. Public Health Job Corps will:

(i) conduct and train individuals in contact tracing related to the COVID–19 pandemic;

(ii) assist in outreach for vaccination efforts, including by administering vaccination clinics;

(iii) assist with training programs for State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments to provide testing, including in schools; and

(iv) provide other necessary services to Americans affected by the COVID–19 pandemic.

Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

J.R. Biden, Jr.      

Ex. Ord. No. 13997. Improving and Expanding Access to Care and Treatments for COVID–19

Ex. Ord. No. 13997, Jan. 21, 2021, 86 F.R. 7201, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of my Administration to improve the capacity of the Nation's healthcare systems to address coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19), to accelerate the development of novel therapies to treat COVID–19, and to improve all Americans' access to quality and affordable healthcare.

Sec. 2. Accelerating the Development of Novel Therapies. To enhance the Nation's ability to quickly develop the most promising COVID–19 interventions, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), in consultation with the Director of the National Institutes of Health, shall:

(a) develop a plan for supporting a range of studies, including large-scale randomized trials, for identifying optimal clinical management strategies, and for supporting the most promising treatments for COVID–19 and future high-consequence public health threats, that can be easily manufactured, distributed, and administered, both domestically and internationally;

(b) develop a plan, in consultation with non-governmental partners, as appropriate, to support research:

(i) in rural hospitals and other rural locations; and

(ii) that studies the emerging evidence concerning the long-term impact of COVID–19 on patient health; and

(c) consider steps to ensure that clinical trials include populations that have been historically underrepresented in such trials.

Sec. 3. Improving the Capacity of the Nation's Healthcare Systems to Address COVID–19. To bolster the capacity of the Nation's healthcare systems to support healthcare workers and patients:

(a) The Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of HHS, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and the heads of other relevant executive departments and agencies (agencies), in coordination with the Coordinator of the COVID–19 Response and Counselor to the President (COVID–19 Response Coordinator), shall promptly, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, provide targeted surge assistance to critical care and long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities for individuals with disabilities, and residential treatment centers, in their efforts to combat the spread of COVID–19.

(b) The COVID–19 Response Coordinator, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of HHS, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and the heads of other relevant agencies, shall review the needs of Federal facilities providing care to COVID–19 patients and develop recommendations for further actions such facilities can take to support active military personnel, veterans, and Tribal nations during this crisis.

(c) The Secretary of HHS shall promptly:

(i) issue recommendations on how States and healthcare providers can increase the capacity of their healthcare workforces to address the COVID–19 pandemic; and

(ii) through the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, take appropriate actions, as consistent with applicable law, to expand access to programs and services designed to meet the long-term health needs of patients recovering from COVID–19, including through technical assistance and support to community health centers.

Sec. 4. Improving Access to Quality and Affordable Healthcare. (a) To facilitate the equitable and effective distribution of therapeutics and bolster clinical care capacity where needed to support patient care, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of HHS, and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in coordination with the COVID–19 Response Coordinator, shall establish targets for the production, allocation, and distribution of COVID–19 treatments. To meet those targets, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of HHS, and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall consider prioritizing, including through grants for research and development, investments in therapeutics that can be readily administered and scaled.

(b) To facilitate the utilization of existing COVID–19 treatments, the Secretary of HHS shall identify barriers to maximizing the effective and equitable use of existing COVID–19 treatments and shall, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, provide support to State, local, Tribal, and territorial authorities aimed at overcoming those barriers.

(c) To address the affordability of treatments and clinical care, the Secretary of HHS shall, promptly and as appropriate and consistent with applicable law:

(i) evaluate the COVID–19 Uninsured Program, operated by the Health Resources and Services Administration within HHS, and take any available steps to promote access to treatments and clinical care for those without adequate coverage, to support safety-net providers in delivering such treatments and clinical care, and to make the Program easy to use and accessible for patients and providers, with information about the Program widely disseminated; and

(ii) evaluate Medicare, Medicaid, group health plans, and health insurance issuers, and take any available steps to promote insurance coverage for safe and effective COVID–19 treatments and clinical care.

Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

J.R. Biden, Jr.      

Ex. Ord. No. 13998. Promoting COVID–19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel

Ex. Ord. No. 13998, Jan. 21, 2021, 86 F.R. 7205, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. Science-based public health measures are critical to preventing the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) by travelers within the United States and those who enter the country from abroad. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Surgeon General, and the National Institutes of Health have concluded that mask-wearing, physical distancing, appropriate ventilation, and timely testing can mitigate the risk of travelers spreading COVID–19. Accordingly, to save lives and allow all Americans, including the millions of people employed in the transportation industry, to travel and work safely, it is the policy of my Administration to implement these public health measures consistent with CDC guidelines on public modes of transportation and at ports of entry to the United States.

Sec. 2. Immediate Action to Require Mask-Wearing on Certain Domestic Modes of Transportation.

(a) Mask Requirement. The Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Secretary of Transportation (including through the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)), the Secretary of Homeland Security (including through the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard), and the heads of any other executive departments and agencies (agencies) that have relevant regulatory authority (heads of agencies) shall immediately take action, to the extent appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to require masks to be worn in compliance with CDC guidelines in or on:

(i) airports;

(ii) commercial aircraft;

(iii) trains;

(iv) public maritime vessels, including ferries;

(v) intercity bus services; and

(vi) all forms of public transportation as defined in section 5302 of title 49, United States Code.

(b) Consultation. In implementing this section, the heads of agencies shall consult, as appropriate, with interested parties, including State, local, Tribal, and territorial officials; industry and union representatives from the transportation sector; and consumer representatives.

(c) Exceptions. The heads of agencies may make categorical or case-by-case exceptions to policies developed under this section, consistent with applicable law, to the extent that doing so is necessary or required by law. If the heads of agencies do make exceptions, they shall require alternative and appropriate safeguards, and shall document all exceptions in writing.

(d) Preemption. To the extent permitted by applicable law, the heads of agencies shall ensure that any action taken to implement this section does not preempt State, local, Tribal, and territorial laws or rules imposing public health measures that are more protective of public health than those required by the heads of agencies.

(e) Coordination. The Coordinator of the COVID–19 Response and Counselor to the President (COVID–19 Response Coordinator) shall coordinate the implementation of this section. The heads of agencies shall update the COVID–19 Response Coordinator on their progress in implementing this section, including any categorical exceptions established under subsection (c) of this section, within 7 days of the date of this order [Jan. 21, 2021] and regularly thereafter. The heads of agencies are encouraged to bring to the attention of the COVID–19 Response Coordinator any questions regarding the scope or implementation of this section.

Sec. 3. Action to Implement Additional Public Health Measures for Domestic Travel.

(a) Recommendations. The Secretary of Transportation (including through the Administrator of the FAA) and the Secretary of Homeland Security (including through the Administrator of the TSA and the Commandant of the Coast Guard), in consultation with the Director of CDC, shall promptly provide to the COVID–19 Response Coordinator recommendations concerning how their respective agencies may impose additional public health measures for domestic travel.

(b) Consultation. In implementing this section, the Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall engage with interested parties, including State, local, Tribal, and territorial officials; industry and union representatives from the transportation sector; and consumer representatives.

Sec. 4. Support for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Authorities. The COVID–19 Response Coordinator, in coordination with the Secretary of Transportation and the heads of any other relevant agencies, shall promptly identify and inform agencies of options to incentivize, support, and encourage widespread mask-wearing and physical distancing on public modes of transportation, consistent with CDC guidelines and applicable law.

Sec. 5. International Travel.

(a) Policy. It is the policy of my Administration that, to the extent feasible, travelers seeking to enter the United States from a foreign country shall be:

(i) required to produce proof of a recent negative COVID–19 test prior to entry; and

(ii) required to comply with other applicable CDC guidelines concerning international travel, including recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation after entry into the United States.

(b) Air Travel.

(i) The Secretary of HHS, including through the Director of CDC, and in coordination with the Secretary of Transportation (including through the Administrator of the FAA) and the Secretary of Homeland Security (including through the Administrator of the TSA), shall, within 14 days of the date of this order [Jan. 21, 2021], assess the CDC order of January 12, 2021, regarding the requirement of a negative COVID–19 test result for airline passengers traveling into the United States, in light of subsection (a) of this section. Based on such assessment, the Secretary of HHS and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take any further appropriate regulatory action, to the extent feasible and consistent with CDC guidelines and applicable law. Such assessment and regulatory action shall include consideration of:

(A) the timing and types of COVID–19 tests that should satisfy the negative test requirement, including consideration of additional testing immediately prior to departure;

(B) the proof of test results that travelers should be required to provide;

(C) the feasibility of implementing alternative and sufficiently protective public health measures, such as testing, self-quarantine, and self-isolation on arrival, for travelers entering the United States from countries where COVID–19 tests are inaccessible, particularly where such inaccessibility of tests would affect the ability of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to return to the United States; and

(D) measures to prevent fraud.

(ii) The Secretary of HHS, in coordination with the Secretary of Transportation (including through the Administrator of the FAA) and the Secretary of Homeland Security (including through the Administrator of the TSA), shall promptly provide to the President, through the COVID–19 Response Coordinator, a plan for how the Secretary and other Federal Government actors could implement the policy stated in subsection (a) of this section with respect to CDC-recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation after a flight to the United States from a foreign country, as he deems appropriate and consistent with applicable law. The plan shall identify agencies' tools and mechanisms to assist travelers in complying with such policy.

(iii) The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of HHS (including through the Director of CDC), the Secretary of Transportation (including through the Administrator of the FAA), and the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall seek to consult with foreign governments, the World Health Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association, and any other relevant stakeholders to establish guidelines for public health measures associated with safe international travel, including on aircraft and at ports of entry. Any such guidelines should address quarantine, testing, COVID–19 vaccination, follow-up testing and symptom-monitoring, air filtration requirements, environmental decontamination standards, and contact tracing.

(c) Land Travel. The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of HHS, the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of CDC, shall immediately commence diplomatic outreach to the governments of Canada and Mexico regarding public health protocols for land ports of entry. Based on this diplomatic engagement, within 14 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of HHS (including through the Director of CDC), the Secretary of Transportation, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the President a plan to implement appropriate public health measures at land ports of entry. The plan should implement CDC guidelines, consistent with applicable law, and take into account the operational considerations relevant to the different populations who enter the United States by land.

(d) Sea Travel. The Secretary of Homeland Security, through the Commandant of the Coast Guard and in consultation with the Secretary of HHS and the Director of CDC, shall, within 14 days of the date of this order, submit to the President a plan to implement appropriate public health measures at sea ports. The plan should implement CDC guidelines, consistent with applicable law, and take into account operational considerations.

(e) International Certificates of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. Consistent with applicable law, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of HHS, and the Secretary of Homeland Security (including through the Administrator of the TSA), in coordination with any relevant international organizations, shall assess the feasibility of linking COVID–19 vaccination to International Certificates of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) and producing electronic versions of ICVPs.

(f) Coordination. The COVID–19 Response Coordinator, in consultation with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, shall coordinate the implementation of this section. The Secretary of State, the Secretary of HHS, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall update the COVID–19 Response Coordinator on their progress in implementing this section within 7 days of the date of this order and regularly thereafter. The heads of all agencies are encouraged to bring to the attention of the COVID–19 Response Coordinator any questions regarding the scope or implementation of this section.

Sec. 6. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

J.R. Biden, Jr.      

Ex. Ord. No. 13999. Protecting Worker Health and Safety

Ex. Ord. No. 13999, Jan. 21, 2021, 86 F.R. 7211, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. Ensuring the health and safety of workers is a national priority and a moral imperative. Healthcare workers and other essential workers, many of whom are people of color and immigrants, have put their lives on the line during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) pandemic. It is the policy of my Administration to protect the health and safety of workers from COVID–19.

The Federal Government must take swift action to reduce the risk that workers may contract COVID–19 in the workplace. That will require issuing science-based guidance to help keep workers safe from COVID–19 exposure, including with respect to mask-wearing; partnering with State and local governments to better protect public employees; enforcing worker health and safety requirements; and pushing for additional resources to help employers protect employees.

Sec. 2. Protecting Workers from COVID–19 Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The Secretary of Labor, acting through the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, in furtherance of the policy described in section 1 of this order and consistent with applicable law, shall:

(a) issue, within 2 weeks of the date of this order [Jan. 21, 2021] and in conjunction or consultation with the heads of any other appropriate executive departments and agencies (agencies), revised guidance to employers on workplace safety during the COVID–19 pandemic;

(b) consider whether any emergency temporary standards on COVID–19, including with respect to masks in the workplace, are necessary, and if such standards are determined to be necessary, issue them by March 15, 2021;

(c) review the enforcement efforts of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) related to COVID–19 and identify any short-, medium-, and long-term changes that could be made to better protect workers and ensure equity in enforcement;

(d) launch a national program to focus OSHA enforcement efforts related to COVID–19 on violations that put the largest number of workers at serious risk or are contrary to anti-retaliation principles; and

(e) coordinate with the Department of Labor's Office of Public Affairs and Office of Public Engagement and all regional OSHA offices to conduct, consistent with applicable law, a multilingual outreach campaign to inform workers and their representatives of their rights under applicable law. This campaign shall include engagement with labor unions, community organizations, and industries, and place a special emphasis on communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

Sec. 3. Protecting Other Categories of Workers from COVID–19. (a) The Secretary of Labor, acting through the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health and consistent with applicable law, shall:

(i) coordinate with States that have occupational safety and health plans approved under section 18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (Act) (29 U.S.C. 667) to seek to ensure that workers covered by such plans are adequately protected from COVID–19, consistent with any revised guidance or emergency temporary standards issued by OSHA; and

(ii) in States that do not have such plans, consult with State and local government entities with responsibility for public employee safety and health and with public employee unions to bolster protection from COVID–19 for public sector workers.

(b) The Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the heads of any other appropriate agencies, shall, consistent with applicable law, explore mechanisms to protect workers not protected under the Act [29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.] so that they remain healthy and safe on the job during the COVID–19 pandemic.

(c) The Secretary of Labor, acting through the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, shall consider whether any emergency temporary standards on COVID–19 applicable to coal and metal or non-metal mines are necessary, and if such standards are determined to be necessary and consistent with applicable law, issue them as soon as practicable.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

J.R. Biden, Jr.      

Ex. Ord. No. 14000. Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers

Ex. Ord. No. 14000, Jan. 21, 2021, 86 F.R. 7215, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, to ensure that students receive a high-quality education during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) pandemic, and to support the safe reopening and continued operation of schools, child care providers, Head Start programs, and institutions of higher education, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. Every student in America deserves a high-quality education in a safe environment. This promise, which was already out of reach for too many, has been further threatened by the COVID–19 pandemic. School and higher education administrators, educators, faculty, child care providers, custodians and other staff, and families have gone above and beyond to support children's and students' learning and meet their needs during this crisis. Students and teachers alike have found new ways to teach and learn. Many child care providers continue to provide care and learning opportunities to children in homes and centers across the country. However, leadership and support from the Federal Government is needed. Two principles should guide the Federal Government's response to the COVID–19 crisis with respect to schools, child care providers, Head Start programs, and higher education institutions. First, the health and safety of children, students, educators, families, and communities is paramount. Second, every student in the United States should have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education, during and beyond the pandemic.

Accordingly, it is the policy of my Administration to provide support to help create the conditions for safe, in-person learning as quickly as possible; ensure high-quality instruction and the delivery of essential services often received by students and young children at school, institutions of higher education, child care providers, and Head Start programs; mitigate learning loss caused by the pandemic; and address educational disparities and inequities that the pandemic has created and exacerbated.

Sec. 2. Agency Roles and Responsibilities. The following assignments of responsibility shall be exercised in furtherance of the policy described in section 1 of this order:

(a) The Secretary of Education shall, consistent with applicable law:

(i) provide, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, evidence-based guidance to assist States and elementary and secondary schools in deciding whether and how to reopen, and how to remain open, for in-person learning; and in safely conducting in-person learning, including by implementing mitigation measures such as cleaning, masking, proper ventilation, and testing;

(ii) provide, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, evidence-based guidance to institutions of higher education on safely reopening for in-person learning, which shall take into account considerations such as the institution's setting, resources, and the population it serves;

(iii) provide advice to State, local, Tribal, and territorial educational authorities, institutions of higher education, local education agencies, and elementary and secondary schools regarding distance and online learning, blended learning, and in-person learning; and the promotion of mental health, social-emotional well-being, and communication with parents and families;

(iv) develop a Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse to enable schools and institutions of higher education to share lessons learned and best practices for operating safely during the pandemic;

(v) provide technical assistance to schools and institutions of higher education so that they can ensure high-quality learning during the pandemic;

(vi) direct the Department of Education's Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights to deliver a report as soon as practicable on the disparate impacts of COVID–19 on students in elementary, secondary, and higher education, including those attending historically black colleges and universities, Tribal colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and other minority-serving institutions;

(vii) coordinate with the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences to facilitate, consistent with applicable law, the collection of data necessary to fully understand the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic on students and educators, including data on the status of in-person learning. These data shall be disaggregated by student demographics, including race, ethnicity, disability, English-language-learner status, and free or reduced lunch status or other appropriate indicators of family income; and

(viii) consult with those who have been struggling for months with the enormous challenges the COVID–19 pandemic poses for education, including students; educators; unions; families; State, local, Tribal, and territorial officials; and members of civil rights and disability rights organizations, in carrying out the directives in this order.

(b) The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall, consistent with applicable law:

(i) facilitate the collection of data needed to inform the safe reopening and continued operation of elementary and secondary schools, child care providers, and Head Start programs, and ensure that such data are readily available to State, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders and the public, consistent with privacy interests, and that such data are disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and other factors as appropriate;

(ii) ensure, in coordination with the Coordinator of the COVID–19 Response and Counselor to the President (COVID–19 Response Coordinator) and other relevant agencies, that COVID–19-related supplies the Secretary administers, including testing materials, are equitably allocated to elementary and secondary schools, child care providers, and Head Start programs to support in-person care and learning;

(iii) to the maximum extent possible, support the development and operation of contact tracing programs at the State, local, Tribal, and territorial level, by providing guidance and technical support to ensure that contact tracing is available to facilitate the reopening and safe operation of elementary and secondary schools, child care providers, Head Start programs, and institutions of higher education;

(iv) provide guidance needed for child care providers and Head Start programs for safely reopening and operating, including procedures for mitigation measures such as cleaning, masking, proper ventilation, and testing, as well as guidance related to meeting the needs of children, families, and staff who have been affected by the COVID–19 pandemic, including trauma-informed care, behavioral and mental health support, and family support, as appropriate; and

(v) provide technical assistance to States, localities, Tribes, and territories to support the accelerated distribution of Federal COVID–19 relief funds to child care providers, and identify strategies to help child care providers safely remain open during the pandemic and beyond while the sector experiences widespread financial disruption due to increased costs and less revenue.

(c) The Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall submit a report to the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and the COVID–19 Response Coordinator identifying strategies to address the impact of COVID–19 on educational outcomes, especially along racial and socioeconomic lines, and shall share those strategies with State, local, Tribal, and territorial officials. In developing these strategies, the Secretaries shall, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, consult with such officials, as well as with education experts; educators; unions; civil rights advocates; Tribal education experts; public health experts; child development experts; early educators, including child care providers; Head Start staff; school technology practitioners; foundations; families; students; community advocates; and others.

(d) The Federal Communications Commission is encouraged, consistent with applicable law, to increase connectivity options for students lacking reliable home broadband, so that they can continue to learn if their schools are operating remotely.

Sec. 3. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

J.R. Biden, Jr.