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tv   President-elect Biden Delivers Remarks on COVID-19 Pandemic  CSPAN  December 29, 2020 8:00pm-8:17pm EST

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journal live at 7:00 eastern wednesday morning. join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages and tweets. today,ier president-elect joe biden warned that the trump administration was falling far behind in its vaccine distribution plan after receiving an update on the pandemic from public health officials. his remarks are next on c-span. after that, vice president-elect kamala harris receives her first dose of the coronavirus vaccine and senators debate moving forward with legislation to increase covid-19 payments to $2000. later, a house appropriations subcommittee holds a hearing on access to abortions.
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pres.-elect biden: good afternoon. vice president harris and i have just received a briefing on the our team of as we end one of the most difficult years as a nation, i remain optimistic about our future. vaccines have been discovered
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and developed. there is more to come, we believe. give us enormous hope. our economy is poised to come back and come alive. i can see a return to normalcy in the next year. i also see incredible opportunities for our nation in the years ahead. job creation, clean energy, racially quality and much more. but, we need to be honest. the next few weeks and months are going to be very tough, very tough period for our nation. maybe the toughest during this entire pandemic. i know it is hard to hear, but it's the truth. as roosevelt said, i think the american people can take whatever we tell them if we tell them straight from the shoulder. spine for steel our what's ahead. we need to follow the recommendations to slow the spread of the virus. each of us need to do what we can to protect ourselves, our
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family and fellow american. we are going to get through this. brighter days are coming. it is going to take all the grit and determination we have as americans to get it done. today, i want to be clear about five things every american should know about our efforts to contain covid-19 and where the vaccine stands today. first, things are going to get worse before they get better. in september, we passed a grim milestone -- 200,000 deaths. at that time in this very room, many remember we will warn we will hit 400,000 deaths before the end of the trump administration january. critics say i was being too alarmist and negative. as i said all along, i will tell you like it is when it comes to covid. the reality is it looks like we are going to hit that grim milestone. we just crossed 330,000 deaths in america. we're averaging daily death
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rates of nearly 2200 people, which means we will lose tens of thousands of more lives in the months to come. hospitals are being stretched beyond capacity. that is data before we see the impact of cases coming from the recent holidays and this upcoming holiday of new year's eve. people getting infected today don't show up in cases for weeks. those who persist -- those who perish from the disease die weeks after initial exposure. we have to anticipate infections over the holidays will produce soaring cases in january, soaring death tolls into february. turning this around is going to take time. we might not see improvement until we are well into march as it will take time for our covid response plan to begin to produce visible progress.
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the second thing to know -- the trump administration's plan to distribute vaccines is falling far behind. we are grateful to the companies, the doctors, the scientists, the researchers, the clinical trial participants and operation warp speed for developing a vaccine quickly. but as i long feared and warned, the effort to distribute and administer the vaccine is not progressing as it should. a few weeks ago, the trump administration suggests that 20 million americans could be vaccinated by the end of december. with only a few days left in december, we've only vaccinated a few million so far. the pace of the vaccination program, if it continues to move as it is now, it will take years, not months to vaccinate the american people. which brings me to the third thing every american should know. the biden/harris administration will spare no effort to make sure people get vaccinated.
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i've laid out three challenges in our first 100 days. one of them is ensuring that 100 million shots have been administered by the end of the first 100 days. congress provides the funding, we'd be able to meet this incredible goal. it would take ramping up five to six times the current pace to one million shots a day. even with that improvement, even if we boost the speed of vaccinations to one million shots a day, it will still take months to have the majority of the united states population vaccinated. i've directed my team to prepare a much more aggressive effort with more federal involvement and leadership to get things back on track. we'll find ways to boost the pace of vaccinations. as dr. fauci and others have stated these past few days, this
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will take more time than anyone would like and more time than the promises from the trump administration have suggested. this is going to be the greatest operational challenge we've ever faced as a nation. we are going to get it done. it is going to take a vast new effort that's not yet underway. to get things -- that gets me to the fourth thing we should know. i'm going to move heaven and earth to get us going in the right direction. i will use my power under the defense production act when i am sworn in and order private industry to accelerate the making of the materials needed for vaccines and protective gear. vice president harris and i have been speaking with county officials, mayors and governors of both parties to speed up the distribution of the vaccine s across the nation. we are planning a whole of government effort. we are going to work up to set
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up vaccination sites and send mobile units to hard-reached communities, hard-to-reach communities. we also know the vaccination has not seen many communities, especially black, latino and native american communities, who treated always been with the honesty and dignity they deserve by the government and the scientific community. that is why we will launch a massive public education campaign to increase vaccine acceptance. we will do everything we can to show vaccines are safe and critically important for ones 's own health, their family and community's. that is why we are going to make sure vaccines are distributed equitably so every person who wants the vaccine can get it no matter the color of their skin or where they live. we are going to ensure vaccinations are free of charge. fifth, while the pandemic rages
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on and as we increase the supply, distribution and administration of the vaccine, we have to remain vigilant. as part of the 100-day challenge, i will be asking the american people to wear a mask for the first 100 days of my administration. it is not a political statement. it is a patriotic duty. our administration will require mask wearing where i have the power to do so. for federal workers, federal facilities, interstate travel like planes and trains. we've been working directly with county officials, mayors and governors to implement mask mandates in their cities and their towns and their states. masking has been a divisive issue in this country. but, covid is a killer in red states and blue states alike. i encourage you all to wear a mask. encourage your family and friends to do the same. it's one of the easiest things we could do that would make a
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huge difference to save lives. another 100-day challenge is opening most of our k-8 schools by the end of the first 100 days in the spring. look, we can only do that if congress provides the necessary funding so we get schools, districts, communities and states the resources they need where there are so many things that are not there already in a tight budget. they need funding for testing to help reopen schools. more funding for transportation so students can maintain social distancing on buses. they need it for school buildings for additional cleaning services, protection equipment, ventilation systems. this is going to require an additional tens of billions of dollars to get this done. congress also needs to fund and provide more protective equipment for frontline health workers, who are still reusing masks and gowns. we need to scale up testing so anyone who needs one can get a test. after 10 months in the pandemic,
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we still don't have enough testing. it is a travesty. all of this, vaccinations, testing and protective gear will require more funding from congress, more than we just approved. that is why i'll propose a covid action package early next year to challenge congress to act on it quickly. look, my ability to change the direction of this pandemic starts in three weeks. with thousands dying every day between now and then, let me conclude by discussing what needs to happen now. i congratulate the bipartisan majority on passing the -- the president on signing the covid relief bill. it's still an important step, moving in the right direction. and it will help people in need. it'll pay for some, but not all of what we need to fix the covid response. it's a down payment.
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now with that done, i hope the president will clearly and unambiguously promote mask wearing. i give former governor chris christie credit. he and i have disagreed on a number of things, but i am thankful he's now encouraging people to do the right thing and wear masks for themselves, their loved ones and their country. i hope the president will listen to him. he can do it too. it would make a huge difference for president trump to say wear masks. i hope the president will clearly and unambiguously urge all americans to take the vaccine once it's available. i took it to instill public confidence in the vaccine. vice president-elect harris took hers today for the same reason. when the president's doctors recommend it, president trump
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should take it and instill a degree of confidence. let me also say this to the american people -- we can save between 60,000 and 100,000 lives in the weeks and months ahead if we just step up together. wear a mask, socially distance, wash our hands. avoid large indoor gatherigns. ngs. i know all these are not easy, but i'm asking you to make the sacrifice. you are already making tremendous sacrifices everything singelle day. it is hard on your lives, your livelihoods. it is not small what we are asking you to do, but we are in this together. actions we take now are going to help us contain the pandemic and get us back to our lives and loved ones. the american people, to all of you, i know there's a lot we have to do, but i want you to know there also much we can do. we're the united states of america.
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we have been through hard times before as a nation and we will come through this as well, i promise you we will. please, i wish you a happy new year. may god bless you and may god protect our troops. wear a mask. >> will you will back to georgia?o ♪ >> stay with c-span for our to canoeing coverage of the transition of power as president-elect joe biden moves closer to the presidency. with the electoral college votes cast from states across the country, join us on january 6 live at 1 p.m. eastern for the
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joint session of congress to count the votes and declared the winner for president and vice president. 20,lly at noon on january the inauguration of the 46th president of the united states. our live coverage begins at 7 a.m. eastern from the statehouse to congress to the white house. watch it all live on c-span, on the go at or listen with the free c-span radio app. c-span's washington journal. every day, we are taking your calls live on the air on the news of the day and we will discuss policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning, a discussion about the trump administration's record on immigration and what to look for in the incoming biden administration. we will talk about criminal justice reform in the new administration with nicholas
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turner. watch c-span's washington journal live at 7:00 eastern wednesday morning. be sure to join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages and tweets. >> vice president-elect kamala harris received her first dose of moderna's coronavirus vaccine earlier today at united medical center in washington, d.c. this occurred nearly a week after president-elect joe biden was vaccinated with the pfizer vaccine. >> ok. >> good morning. [inaudible]


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