President-elect Joe Biden complained that COVID-19 vaccinations are ‘falling behind’ and vaccinating the American public could take ‘years’ instead of months, in fresh remarks on the coronavirus pandemic.
At Wilmington’s Queen theater on Tuesday, Biden again warned that ‘things are going to get worse before they get better’ and gave President Donald Trump some advice on how he could improve things now.
‘It would make a huge difference for President Trump to say “wear masks,” Biden said. ‘I hope the president will clearly and unambiguously urge all Americans to take the vaccine once it’s available,’ the president-elect also said.
President-elect Joe Biden voiced concerns about coronavirus vaccine distribution telling reporters in Delaware Tuesday that it’s ‘falling behind’ and could take ‘years’ if the pace doesn’t quicken
President-elect Joe Biden also talked about masking, begging President Donald Trump to endorse mask-wearing to his supporters before he leaves office on January 20
Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the wearing of masks in April, Trump has mostly resisted – even poking fun at Biden during the presidential campaign for his avid masking.
The president, who caught COVID-19 in October, also hasn’t yet taken the vaccine.
Biden got his vaccination last week, while his running mate, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris – who he accidentally referred to as ‘President-elect Harris’ during his Tuesday remarks – got the Moderna vaccine earlier in the day in Washington, D.C.
At the top of his speech, Biden cited some grim statistics, reminding the reporters spread out through the room that he had once predicted that more than 400,000 Americans would be dead of COVID-19 by the end Trump’s tenure.
‘And the reality is, it looks like we’ll hit that grim milestone,’ Biden said.
The death toll stood at 336,000 Americans late Tuesday afternoon.
‘Turning this around will take time. And we might not see improvement until well into March, as it will take time for our COVID response plan to begin to produce visible progress,’ Biden said.
He then warned that ‘the Trump administration’s plan to distribute vaccines is falling behind, far behind.’
‘We are grateful to the companies, doctors, scientists, researchers, and clinical trial participants, and Operation Warp Speed for developing the vaccines quickly,’ Biden said. ‘But as I long feared and warned, the effort to distribute and administer the vaccine is not progressing as it should.’
Biden recalled that the Trump Administration had suggested 20 million Americans could be vaccinated by the end of December, which is just two days away.
So far, just over 2 million Americans have been vaccinated as of early Monday, according to the CDC’s tracker.
‘At the pace the vaccination program is moving now, it would take years, not months, to vaccinate the American people,’ Biden warned.
He pledged to ‘spare no effort’ to speed up the program, saying his aim was to have 100 million shots doled out within his first 100 days.
He called on Congress to provide additional funding.
The Democrats will maintain the control of the House of Representatives when the new Congress starts on January 3.
Control of the Senate depends on the outcome of two run-off races in Georgia on January 5.
Biden will have a much easier time getting additional COVID-19 pandemic funds passed if Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock beat the two GOP incumbents.
It was already reported that Biden plans to utilize the Defense Production Act to order private industry to make vaccination supplies and additional PPE.
The incoming president also said he planned to launch a ‘massive public education campaign’ in order to influence Americans of color to get vaccinated, as those communities have been previously abused by government scientists.
Harris got her Moderna vaccine Tuesday in Southeast, D.C., the quadrant of the capital city that houses a number of minority communities.
Turning to masking, Biden admitted that it has been a ‘divisive issue’ in this country.
‘But COVID has been a killer in red states and blue states alike,’ the president-elect pointed out.
He praised former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, an ally of the president’s, for admitting that he was wrong for not wearing a mask when he attended the White House Rose Garden event where Trump announced Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his next Supreme Court pick.
That event turned into a so-called ‘super-spreader,’ with the overweight Christie catching COVID-19 and checking himself into a hospital to receive care.
‘I give former Governor Chris Christie credit. He and I disagree on most things,’ Biden said. ‘But I’m thankful he’s now encouraging people to do the right thing and wear a mask for themselves, their loved ones, and their country.’
‘I hope President Trump listens to him,’ Biden said.
While the CDC warned against winter travel, Trump has been on vacation for nearly a week at his Palm Beach, Florida Mar-a-Lago resort. CNN reported Tuesday that the club will still host its annual New Year’s Eve party.
Additionally, Trump is slated to attend a political rally in Georgia Monday for the two GOP Senate hopefuls.
In the run-up to Election Day, the president’s rallies featured packed, mostly mask-less crowds.
As Biden left the stage Tuesday he wished his small audience of journalists a ‘happy new year.’
‘Wear a mask,’ he repeated.