'Solve the COVID problem first': UC Berkeley dean says Joe Biden's top priority must be coronavirus

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- President Joe Biden signed 17 executive orders Wednesday, and Thursday will mark his first full day in office, all as the U.S. is amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Experts ABC7's JR Stone talked with Wednesday night weighed in on what Americans can expect in the coming days, weeks and months.

"Deal with COVID and deal with the economy. Those are the two big big things."

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As far as the things that Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will face right away? Henry Brady is the Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. He says COVID-19 and the economy go hand-in-hand.

"It's not just that the government has stopped the economy. People have stopped the economy. People don't want to go out as long as it feels dangerous to go out, so you can't solve the problem by saying lets open up or not open up. You have to solve the COVID problem first," said Brady.

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Doctors ABC7 spoke with say organization from a federal level is key to trying to reach Biden's goal of 100 million vaccines given out in 100 days.

"Supply chain, support, and coordination and I think we can do it. What we really need is doses and coordination and I just know our workforce will be there trying to help," said Dr. Grace Lee.

Lee is the Associate Chief Medical Officer for Practice Innovation at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.
Amid COVID-19 and the economy, there is also a hope to unify a divided country.

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"How do you unify a country when you put a former president on trial who still has supporters?" asked ABC 7 News Contributor Phil Matier.

So many question marks but certainly lots of hope, especially when it comes to the pandemic.

"Like he said he is going to manage the hell out of this and try to make sure that it happens," said Dean Brady.

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