President-elect Joe Biden says the day he is sworn in as president, he will ask all Americans to wear a mask for 100 days.
"Just 100 days to mask, not forever. 100 days. And I think we'll see a significant reduction." Biden said during an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN.
Biden said he wants to balance curbing the spread of the coronavirus without shutting down the economy. He said he talked with Dr. Anthony Fauci Thursday about his plans and asked the doctor to stay on in the new administration.
Biden often wears a mask in public, and he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris held "drive-in" campaign events to encourage social distancing.
A scientific model released in October predicted 500,000 American deaths from coronavirus by March if there is no change to mask wearing and social distancing. The study found that if even 85 percent of Americans wore a mask routinely, almost 100,000 lives could be saved between now and March.
However, those estimates may be out of date, as the coronavirus has spiked in the month of November, reaching to almost 14 million total positive cases and more than 275,000 deaths as of December 3, and shows no signs of slowing down in December, especially as health experts warn we have not seen a spike from Thanksgiving travel yet in coronavirus case numbers.
The FDA is expected to grant emergency use authorization to Pfizer and Moderna's coronavirus vaccine in the next few weeks. However, masking and social distancing will still be needed since the vaccine will not be available to everyone right away.
Biden told CNN he would be "happy to" get a coronavirus vaccine once Dr. Fauci and the FDA say it is safe. His comments come one day after three former presidents, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, said they would publicly get the coronavirus vaccine to demonstrate its safety to others.