Because the coronavirus can linger on surfaces for multiple days, a team deployed by the General Services Administration will go over every part of the White House’s East and West Wings touched by human hands in the hours after Trump departs and Biden moves in, a spokesperson from the agency confirmed to POLITICO. That includes plans to “thoroughly clean and disinfect” all furniture, doorknobs, handrails and light switches, before Biden and his team move in. Additionally, a private contractor will provide “disinfectant misting services” to clear the air of lingering droplets.
Still other changes aimed at keeping Biden and his team safe will be more cultural than logistical.
“It’ll be the polar opposite of what you’re seeing now,” said Nicole Lurie, a former HHS assistant secretary of emergency and preparedness under the Obama administration who has advised Biden’s Covid-19 response. “I think the social penalties for non-mask wearing will be great. Instead of people being ridiculed for wearing masks, they’ll be pressured in the other direction. It’ll be hard to be in a meeting and not wear a mask or social distance.”