Four days after the polls closed on 3 November, US Democrat nominee Joe Biden finally surpassed the required 270 electoral college votes needed to be declared President-elect, ousting the tumultuous Trump administration that has dominated global discourse for the past four years. Biden’s inauguration ceremony is set to take place in late January 2021.
President Donald Trump has since refused to concede the election, maintaining that mass electoral fraud has occurred. However, this hasn’t stopped the Biden camp from declaring victory. While Trump’s campaign team has attempted to launch lawsuits over the matter in several states, many have already been dismissed, with no substantive evidence of electoral fraud presented thus far.
Healthcare has been a major battleground in this election, something which is unsurprising given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on almost all aspects of public life. Donations to the Democrat party from the health sector reached their highest level in 20 years in the run-up to the election, with 56% of all political contributions from the industry going to the party.
After the votes were tallied, four of the top seven US medtech hubs – the states of California, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Washington – all wound up falling into the Democrat camp. The three red states of the group – Florida, Indiana and Texas – also saw generally tighter races, with Biden netting an average of 45% of votes across these territories compared to Trump’s average of 37% of votes in the blue states.
Biden’s new approach to Covid-19
Biden’s stance on Covid-19 is likely to have been particularly attractive to mdtech companies. He plans to utilise the Defense Production Act – a Korean War-era law that enables extra government actions to boost needed supplies – to produce more personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks, something which could provide a considerable boost for the manufacturers of these devices.
Biden also plans to ensure the wide availability of free Covid-19 testing for US residents, and aims to eliminate all cost barriers to preventive care and treatment for the virus. In a country where state-supported healthcare is controversial at best, this is a fairly radical stance for the Democrats to take.
His website states that: “Individuals should also not have to pay anything out of their own pockets for the visit at which the test is ordered, regardless of their immigration status.”
At least ten mobile testing sites and drive-though facilities per state are being promised to expedite testing and protect healthcare workers. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are expected to work with private labs and manufacturers to ensure adequate production, quality control, training and technical assistance. The CDC is also expected to work with scientists to clarify testing criteria, potentially prioritising first responders so they can remain in work and on the front lines of the crisis.
This rapid surge in the country’s testing capacity will be welcomed by companies that manufacture Covid-19 tests, as it gives them a footprint to distribute their product on a much larger scale than is currently possible.
Medtech manufacturers that produce hospital equipment like ventilators will also be pleased to hear about the Biden administration’s plans to establish ‘hotspot’ hospitals to combat virus surges. Plans are being made to set up temporary hospitals with capacities in the hundreds in any city at short notice by deploying the existing Federal Medical Stations in the strategic national stockpile. The stockpile has medicines and supplies stored in strategically located warehouses throughout the country, ready for deployment. As the supplies are drained, medtech companies will have the opportunity to work with state…