President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday expressed empathy with struggling families and applauded Congress for passing a coronavirus relief bill. (Dec. 22)
JOE BIDEN: Yesterday, in an effort to instill some confidence in the vaccine, I had my shot administered in public. And I got a chance to thank all those nurses and docs Christiana Hospital for what they've been putting up with and doing for so long. I look forward to the second shot and I have absolute confidence in the vaccine.
As you all know, we're averaging a death rate of close to 3,000 people a day. That means we're going to lose tens of thousands of more lives in the months to come. And the vaccine won't be able to stop that. So we'll still have to remain vigilant.
We need to work in a bipartisan way. That's the only way we're going to get through this in tough times. We have our first glimpse of bipartisanship. I applaud the Congress. Their economic relief package that included funding for vaccine distribution, much needed temporary relief for workers, families, and small businesses.
Early next year, I'm going to put forward to the Congress my plans for what comes next. We'll need more help to fully distribute the vaccine. We're going to need more testing in order to be able to open our schools. We need more funding to help firefighters and police, many of whom are being laid off as I speak. And the same with nurses, risking their lives in the front lines.
The same for millions of hurting families who are unable to put food on the table, pay rent or the mortgage. Unemployment is extended for another 10 weeks. It's going to take a lot longer than that. But Congress did its job this week. And I can and I must ask them to do it again next year.