Joe Biden warned that a “dark winter” was ahead as the nation battled the coronavirus pandemic and warned that President Donald Trump’s refusal to start the transition process could result in more deaths.
The president-elect spoke about the economy devastated by the pandemic after holding a virtual meeting with CEOs and union leaders, including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and General Motors CEO Mary Barra on Monday.
“We all agree that we want to get the economy back on track. We need our workers to return to work and that means the virus is under control, ”he said.
“We are entering a very dark winter. Things are going to get harder before it gets easier, ”he warned as coronavirus cases are on the rise in the United States. There have been over 11 million cases of the disease in the United States and the average daily rate is over 100,000.
Joe Biden warned a ‘gloomy winter’ was coming as nation battled coronavirus
Biden also called on the Trump administration to give his transition team access to their plan to distribute a COVID vaccine.
“The sooner we have access to the administration’s distribution plan, the faster this transition will go smoothly,” he said.
“More people are at risk of dying if we don’t coordinate,” he added.
“How do we get more than 300 million Americans vaccinated, what’s the plan of action?” It’s a huge, huge undertaking to do that and to put the most disadvantaged first and work our way through them, ”he said. “And they say they had this warp speed program that they were dealing with not only getting the vaccines but also how to distribute them. “
He argued that waiting for the opening day was too long given the severity of the pandemic.
“If we have to wait until January 20 to start this plan, it puts us a month behind schedule,” he said.
The formal transition process is stuck in President Trump’s refusal to concede the election to his Democratic rival. The General Service Administration is the agency that officially begins the transfer of power, but its head, appointed by Trump, has refused to initiate the process.
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris spoke about the virus and the economy as shares soared after drugmaker Moderna announced that its COVID-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective on the basis preliminary data.
“I wouldn’t hesitate to get the vaccine, but I also want to lead by example,” Biden said when asked if he would take one once approved.
Harris warned that there was no time to waste.
“The road ahead will not be easy, but the president-elect and I will get started,” she said. “We don’t have a moment to lose.
Prior to their speech, the two met with business leaders and unions to discuss the economic recovery including Trumka, Barra, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, Microsoft President Satya Nadella, UAW President Rory. Gamble, Target CEO Brian Cornell, UFCW President Marc Perrone, Lee Saunders, AFSCME President, and Sonia Synga, GAP CEO.
And the Democrat warned: “The unions are going to have more power.”
“I said I wanted you to know that I am a union member,” he said of his conversation with them. The unions will have increased power. It is not anti-business. It is about economic growth, the creation of well-paid jobs ”.
His edict will appeal to the left wing of the party, which distrusted Biden’s long history of moderate politics.
But he doubled his support for unions and the environment.
“We will make sure that workers are at the table and environmentalists are at the table and in any trade deals we make,” he said.
President-elect Joe Biden said he and his wife Jill Biden sat down on Monday morning to talk about their Thanksgiving plans – above, the couple went biking on Saturday at Cape Henlopen National Park
He also called on Congress to come together and pass COVID relief legislation.
“For now, Congress should come together and pass a Covid relief package like the HEROES law,” he said, referring to legislation passed by the Democratic House.
Talks are stalled between Trump’s White House and Capitol Hill Democrats over another COVID relief program and several states have started instituting new restrictions as cases of the coronavirus increase.
One of Biden’s first tasks as president might be to try to push such legislation through the legislature.
Biden also revealed that he and his wife Jill are struggling to manage their upcoming Thanksgiving vacation. He said they were counting on expert advice and would try to limit their gathering to five or at least no more than 10 people.
“Jill and I spent this morning, like many of you, trying to figure out what we’re going to do for Thanksgiving?” How are we going to do it? “, He said.
He urged Americans to take the advice of Dr Anthony Fauci and other experts and limit their vacation plans.
“I strongly urge you – not just for yourself but for your children, your mother, your father, your sister and your brothers, there should not be more than ten people in a room and inside the house,” he said.
And he urges people to wear masks
“Being masked saves lives,” he said, adding, “I just want to be sure we can be together on Thanksgiving and next Christmas. “
And he appeared to shoot President Trump, who was reluctant to wear a face mask.
“There is nothing macho about not wearing a mask,” he says.
Joe Biden to present his economic plan during a speech in Wilmington on Monday
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris receive virtual briefing on the economy with their economic advisers
Biden’s Build Back Better economic recovery plan would spend more than $ 7 trillion on initiatives like infrastructure, which include creating 10 million clean energy jobs, as well as housing, education , economic equity and health care.
President Trump, meanwhile, refuses to concede to his Democratic rival even as his prosecutions in key battlefield states have failed and his campaign has revealed no evidence of electoral fraud.
“I won the elections! Trump tweeted on Monday morning, again falsely claiming victory. Twitter posted a warning on its Tweet, writing: “Official sources called this election differently.
Biden holds 306 electoral votes versus 232 for Trump – the same margin Trump won in 2016 when he declared a “landslide” victory over Hillary Clinton. Biden also leads the popular vote with at least 5.5 million votes, with the ballots still being counted.
The formal transition process has yet to begin amid the president’s refusal to give in.
Biden’s new White House chief of staff Ron Klain said on Sunday that the delay in starting the process could cause a delay in the distribution of a COVID vaccine.
“We now have the option, we have to see if it’s approved, of a vaccine starting maybe in December, January. There are people at [the Department of Health and Human Services] making plans to implement this vaccine, ”he told NBC’s“ Meet the Press ”. “Our experts need to talk to these people as soon as possible so that nothing falls into this change of power. “
President Trump raises his fist at his supporters to applaud them off the course on Sunday; he keeps insisting that he won the election
Meanwhile, the stock market is on the rise after Moderna announced its promising news on a COVID vaccine – making it the second U.S. company in a week to publish results that far exceed expectations.
Moderna was part of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed program. And, unlike Pfizer’s vaccine, Moderna injection can be stored at normal refrigerator temperature, which should make dispensing easier.
The US government has already purchased 100 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, which is enough to immunize 50 million Americans since people need two vaccines.
Trump reacted to the news by tweeting: “Another vaccine has just been announced. This time by Moderna, 95% efficient. For these great “historians”, remember that these great discoveries, which will put an end to the plague of China, all took place under my supervision!
And Biden hailed the news while warning Americans to continue to practice social distancing and wear masks.
“Today’s announcement of a second vaccine is yet another reason for hope. What was true with the first vaccine remains true with the second: we are still months away. Until then, Americans must continue to practice social distancing and wearing masks to control the virus, ”Biden wrote on Twitter.
The stock market rose following news from Moderna regarding strong preliminary data from its COVID vaccine trials
Pfizer announced a week ago that its own COVID-19 vaccine was 90% effective – news that puts the two companies on track to get FDA clearance within weeks for emergency use in United States.
Moderna expects it to be stable at standard refrigerator temperatures of 36-48 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 days, and it can be stored for up to 6 months at -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pfizer’s vaccine should be shipped and stored at minus 94 ° F, the kind of temperature typical of an Antarctic winter. At standard refrigerator temperatures, it can be stored for up to five days.