Joe Biden warned a ‘dark winter’ is ahead as the nation battles the coronavirus pandemic and awaits a vaccine.
The president-elect spoke about the pandemic-devastated economy after holding a virtual meeting with CEOs and labor leaders, including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
‘We’re all agreed that we want to get the economy back on track. We need our workers to get back to the job and that means getting the virus under control,’ he said.
‘We’re going into a very dark winter. Things are going to get tougher before it gets easier,’ he warned as coronavirus cases are on the rise in the United States. There have been more than 11 million cases of the disease in the United States and the average daily rate is more than 100,000.
Joe Biden warned a ‘dark winter’ is ahead as the nation battles the coronavirus
Biden also called on President Donald Trump’s 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 sooner this transition will smoothly move forward,’ he said.
‘More people may die if we don’t coordinate,’ he added, pointing out ‘if we have to wait until January 20th to start that plan, it puts us behind a month.’
The formal transition process is stalled amid President Trump’s refusal to concede the election to his Democratic rival. The General Services Administration is the agency that formally begins the transfer of power but it’s chief, appointed by Trump, has refused to start the process.
Biden and Vice President elect Kamala Harris spoke about the virus and the economy as stocks soared following drugmaker Moderna’s announcement its COVID-19 vaccine is 94.5 percent effective based on preliminary data.
‘I wouldn’t hesitate to get the vaccine but I also want to set an example,’ Biden said when asked if he’d take one once it’s approved.
Ahead of their speeches, the two met with business and labor leaders 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, AFSCME President Lee Saunders, and GAP CEO Sonia Synga.
And, the Democrat warned: ‘Unions are going to have increased power.’
‘I said I want you to know I’m a union guy,’ he said of his conversation with them. Unions will have increased power. It’s not antibusiness. It’s about economic growth, creating good paying jobs.’
He also called on Congress to come together and pass COVID relief legislation.
“Right now, Congress should come together and pass a Covid relief package like the HEROES Act,” he said, referring to the legislation passed by the Democratic House.
Talks are stalled between the Trump White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill about another COVID relief package and several states have started to institute new restrictions as coronavirus cases are on the rise.
Joe Biden will 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 over $7 trillion on initiatives such as infrastructure, which includes the creation of 10 million clean-energy jobs, and on housing, education, economic fairness and health care.
But any economic plan would seen through the lens of the coronavirus-recession. There have been more than 10 million infections in the United States and the rate is reaching more than 100,000 infections per day.