Biden promises to prioritize state virus funding

President-elect Joe Biden says he's hopeful that Congressional Republicans will be more willing to send money to state governments after President Donald Trump leaves office. He's promising to make such funding a priority when he takes office. (Nov. 18)

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: We should be further along. One of the problems that we're having now is the failure of the administration to recognize-- the law says that the General Services Administration has a person who recognizes who the winner is, and then they have to have access to all the data and information that the government possesses to be prepared. And it doesn't require there to be an absolute winner. It says the apparent winner-- the apparent winner.

And we've been unable to get access to the kinds of things we need to know about the depth of the stockpiles. We know there's not much at all. We get to the point where we have a sense of when these vaccines comes out, how they'll be distributed, who will be first in line, what the plan is. There are over 300 million Americans and beyond our border that are going to have to be taken care of.

And there's a whole lot of things that are just-- we just don't have available to us which, unless it's made available soon, we're going to be behind by weeks or months being able to put together the whole initiative relating to the biggest promise we have with two drug companies coming along and finding 95% effectiveness, efficiency in the vaccines, which is enormous promise. So I just want to tell you that that's the only slowdown right now that we have.

Congress has already passed that money. It's sitting there. It's available right now. But we're unwilling-- so some of our friends on the Senate side are unwilling to spend the money. When we talk about states going bankrupt and having to layoff thousands upon thousands of people, one of the leaders on the other side said, well, let the states go bankrupt. Just let them go bankrupt.

It's not a responsible position, and I'm hoping that the reason why my friends on the other side have not stepped up to do something is because of their fear of retribution from the president. And hopefully when he's gone, they'll be more willing to do what they know should be done, has to be done in order to save the communities they live in.

I have no budget. I can't do any of this until I'm sworn in or I can convince the president now to do things that should be being done already. I mean, there's hardly been a meeting that's taken place in the White House about any of this.