What a Joe Biden presidency means for COVID-19, health care and housing

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston residents are reacting to former Vice President Joe Biden's projected win of the presidency, but also noting the long journey ahead to change.

President-elect Joe Biden is already planning to announce a 12-person COVID-19 task force on Monday, according to reports from CNN.

Paul Brace, a political science professor at Rice University, said he anticipates Biden's primary focus on the first day in office will be on the country's response to the pandemic, including a possible nationwide mask mandate, pushing forward with a stimulus, a COVID-19 relief plan and a push for more health care resources, including more access to adequate testing.

"COVID-19 relief would certainly be something he would like to see passed, and his ability to pass that, of course, will depend on the partisan composition of congress," Brace said. "Right now, they are stalemated on a $2 trillion package with republicans resistant over the cost and expanding testing."

Biden has also promised the following things during his campaign run:

  • Re-apply for the U.S. to rejoin the world health organization
  • Move to eliminate President Trump's tax cuts
  • Rejoin the Paris environmental agreement
  • Create a task force addressing housing
  • Push a bill on immigration reform and reinstate the DACA program


"I think Biden's thinking about what he is going to say for a long time," Brace said. "He wants to unify the country, and that's a very tough order. Anyone can say it. It's easy to say, hard to do."

Mayor Sylvester Turner made remarks regarding the presidential election during a press conference at a newly opened COVID-19 testing site.

"When you heard the report on yesterday that this country set an all-time record of the number of cases in a single day. And then what's happening in El Paso and West Texas, don't think what is happening there can not come and happen here," Turner said. "With regards to the election and the race that has now been called, let me just say this, I look forward to the future and I'm not going to focus on yesterday or last year. I am going to look forward to the future. Let me tell you what this city needs, this city needs a good partner in the White House, in congress, in the state. We need a good partner. This virus has affected us every single day. Our financial situation is very, very tight and it will be that way for two or three years."

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo expressed her thoughts on the race on social media by congratulating Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.



Resident Alexandria Warren said she is going to keep her eyes wide open as the next president transitions into his position in the oval office.

"You've got to have hope," Warren said, "I do believe we can actually get something done if we put the work behind it and if we put his feet to the fire. I'm going to be 100 about it."

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