Joe Biden gave his sympathies to families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 and warned the nation still faces a “dark winter” ahead.
The projected president-elect released a video message Thursday after meeting with a bipartisan coalition of governors to discuss plans to combat the coronavirus pandemic. In it, he paints a grave picture of the nation’s immediate prospects but offers hope for the future.
“The country is still in a crisis, and there’s a dark winter still ahead,” Biden says in the video. “Yesterday, America reached another tragic milestone; 250,000 deaths, a quarter of a million people died due to Covid-19. And there are empty chairs at dining room tables that were filled just days and weeks ago with loved ones, family, and friends, who laughed and talked together.”
He adds, “To those families and friends that are left behind, Jill and I send our love and our prayers. We know, like many of you do, how tough it is to find purpose in the memory of the loved one you lost. It will take time — but you will find it.”
Infection rates in the United States are up more than 73 percent over the past two weeks, according to the New York Times. There were more than 187,000 reported new cases on Thursday alone and nearly 2,000 more deaths. The nation has had more than 12 million infections since the outbreak began. This is by far the most in the world with more than 3 million more than any other nation, according to John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. American also leads in the total number of deaths.
Joe Biden Sounds the Alarm As COVID-19 Cases Rise
In a series of recent tweets, Biden slammed President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. He said the response has been “woefully lacking” so far. He said the nation needs a “robust and immediate federal response” to fight against it.
Though, that doesn’t look like it’s coming anytime soon.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Thursday said he wouldn’t extend the Federal Reserve lending programs that were created to stabilize the economy after the pandemic began. This despite the Federal Reserve saying the nation still needs a financial crutch as cases increase.
“The Federal Reserve would prefer that the full suite of emergency facilities established during the coronavirus pandemic continue to serve their important role as a backstop for our still-strained and vulnerable economy,” the Fed said in a press release, according to CNBC.
Biden said he has plans for how he’ll handle the pandemic. There isn’t much he can do until being sworn in, though.
“I am the president-elect, but will not be president until next year,” he said in a tweet. “COVID-19 does not respect dates on the calendar, it is accelerating right now. Urgent action is needed today, now, by the current administration.”
Trump for his part hasn’t said much about the pandemic recently. His focus has been on the many lawsuits he’s filed contesting the election results, based on his tweets. Though he has mention recent advances in the push for a vaccine. Early testing of two potential vaccines has shown promise.