Biden warns of massive layoffs of first responders and firefighters due to local Covid budget issues

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“I am worried,” the new chief executive said on Wednesday. “The question is going to be: when should we start laying off workers?”

“They cannot run a budget deficit,” he said of local governments.

House and Senate Democrats have called for millions in aid to help state and local governments, but made no progress in months-long talks with Republicans and Trump’s White House over the issue. a new coronavirus relief bill.

There are no ongoing talks, sources say, despite a bipartisan deal that people, businesses and governments need help.

Mr Biden lamented that 666,000 teachers were made redundant – although he did not quote a source for his figures.

He was not the only high-ranking Democrat to warn of public sector layoffs on Wednesday.

“This morning, the New York MTA announced a cut in subways and buses – a flashing warning sign indicating how desperately we are in need of transit relief,” the minority leader told the Chuck Schumer Senate of the Empire State. “We will fight hard for the relief in transit. None of this is in Leader [Mitch] McConnell’s bill. ”

In the meantime, Mr Biden has warned that the distribution of a possible Covid-19 vaccine could be “weeks or months behind schedule” if Donald Trump does not open the transition process to allow his incoming team information on its planning.

The overall unemployment rate in the United States jumped to more than 14 percent in April during the first Covid-19 wave. It has been steadily declining since, with states opening up a large chunk of their savings – even as new restrictions start to be put in place amid a third spike in cases and hospitalizations. At the end of October, the unemployment rate was 6.9 percent.

Mr Trump ran for re-election on a recovering economy, though Mr Biden received over 5 million additional votes nationwide after pushing his ‘build back better’ message on building an economy stronger and more inclusive after Covid.

Griffin Connolly contributed to this report.

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