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Biden: Pandemic will get worse despite vaccine

The Hill logo The Hill 12/22/2020 Julia Manchester
Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: Biden: Pandemic will get worse despite vaccine © Getty Images Biden: Pandemic will get worse despite vaccine

President-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic will likely get worse despite the arrival of vaccines, and urged Americans to be vigilant in the coming months.

"Experts say things will get worse notwithstanding the vaccine," Biden told reporters in Wilmington, Del. "We're averaging a death rate of close to 3,000 a day. That means we will lose tens of thousands of more lives in the months to come, and the vaccine won't be able to stop that."

"So we still have to remain vigilant," he continued, calling on Americans to wear masks, socially distance and avoid large gatherings.

Additionally, Biden called on Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill to work in a bipartisan fashion. The president-elect praised lawmakers for the passage of the latest coronavirus relief package this week.

"Like all compromises, it's far from perfect. But it does provide vital relief at a critical time," Biden said. "However, as I have said all along, this bill is just a first step - a down payment - on addressing the crisis we're in. We have a lot more work to do."

Video: Biden Receives Covid-19 Vaccine Shot (Bloomberg)


Biden said that he will present a plan mapping the country's path forward on combating the virus, saying help will be needed with vaccine distribution, school reopenings, aiding front-line workers and stopping more economic fallout from the virus.

Earlier this month, Biden laid out a three-pronged approach he will take to combating the pandemic once he takes office in January. The plan included 100 million vaccine doses in the first 100 days of his presidency, safely reopening as many schools as possible, and asking Americans to wear a mask for 100 days.

Biden received the coronavirus vaccine on television on Monday.

His remarks on Tuesday come days before the Christmas holiday, which will look drastically different to many Americans this year amid the pandemic.

Biden acknowledged the adjustments he's made for his holiday celebrations, noting that he will be observing the holiday on a smaller scale.

"For the Bidens, we usually have 20 to 25 family members over for Christmas dinner, and then the immediate family, 14 of our kids and grandkids and their spouses for coming down the stairs on Christmas morning, but not this year," he said. "Like we did over Thanksgiving, we all have to care enough for each other that we have to stay apart just a little longer. I know it's hard, but we have a long way to go."


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