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President Joe Biden delivered his inaugural address to a field of flags. And it was before those 190,000-some flags—stand-ins to represent the Americans unable to attend in person—that he pledged to guide the country through a pandemic that’s claimed 400,000 lives in the United States alone.
The incoming administration wasted no time: Today, the president signed a batch of executive orders aimed at curbing the outbreak.
Biden inherits a country divided in many ways, one of the most profound of which is physical. Though COVID-19 cases appear to be easing ever so slightly, much work needs to be done before Americans can gather again.
Here’s the weekly update from our COVID Tracking Project: “We are seeing early indications that the rates of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are easing, though some areas are still reporting dangerously high case and hospitalization levels and wrenching death rates.”