In a speech addressing the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, Joe Biden acknowledged that with vaccines being distributed, “brighter days are coming.” However, the speech total had a sobering tone, with the president-elect acknowledging the greater than 330,000 coronavirus deaths, in addition to the potential for a lot of extra over the winter.
“We should be sincere: The subsequent few weeks and months are going to be very powerful, a really powerful interval for our nation — perhaps the hardest throughout this complete pandemic,” he mentioned. “I do know it is onerous to listen to, nevertheless it’s the reality.”
As the Trump presidency involves a detailed, Biden took the chance to sharply criticize the president’s coronavirus response, noting that vaccination numbers have didn’t stay as much as the administration’s earlier promise of 20 million by the tip of the yr. Right now, round 2.1 million Americans have obtained their first vaccine dose, according to the CDC.
He requested President Trump to encourage masks utilization. Biden additionally famous that he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris had each obtained the vaccine, and that Trump ought to publicly do the identical.
“When his medical doctors advocate it, President Trump ought to take it and instill that very same diploma of confidence,” Biden mentioned.
Biden laid out his plans to fight COVID-19, together with targets for his first 100 days as president: to distribute 100 million vaccine pictures, open most Okay-8 colleges, and ask all Americans to put on masks for these 100 days.
And whereas he applauded the brand new coronavirus reduction invoice handed by Congress and signed by Trump, Biden mentioned Congress would want to offer extra funding to fulfill a few of his targets for combating the virus. He particularly pointed to steps he believes will likely be essential to reopen colleges, together with extra funding for testing, transportation, cleansing, and air flow techniques.
Biden additionally mentioned he plans to invoke the Defense Production Act in order that U.S. firms enhance manufacturing of vaccine-related supplies. That act, amongst different issues, allows a president to direct companies to prioritize authorities orders of products wanted for nationwide safety.
In a associated transfer, the Biden workforce introduced the names Tuesday of 9 new members of its COVID-19 Response Team, together with coordinators for vaccines, testing, and provide chain administration.