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President-elect Joe Biden: 'More people may die if we don't coordinate'

President-elect Joe Biden to deliver remarks on the economy
Posted at 11:30 AM, Nov 16, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden had a stark warning if there is not collaboration on national efforts to combat the coronavirus.

"More people may die if we don’t coordinate," President-elect Biden said Monday during remarks from Wilmington, Delaware. He urged a coordination effort not only between administrations, but also with Congress, business owners, educators, and governors.

"We are at war with the coronavirus," Biden said.

President Donald Trump has not conceded the presidential election, and his administration has not formally signed an ascertainment that would allow the incoming Biden administration access to intelligence briefings and department leaders, including the coronavirus team, and funding for transition efforts.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris spoke about the economy, and their strategy to "hit the ground running" in January when they are sworn in.

Biden shared his frustration that President Trump and Congress has not passed more relief as Americans struggle, referencing long-term unemployment numbers and rising evictions.

Harris said they had spent Monday talking to business owners representing leaders from corporations, small businesses, and those in between.

"The road ahead, it will not be easy. But the president elect and I are hitting the ground running," Harris said.

She also addressed the disparities in how the coronavirus pandemic is effecting communities of color.

"Last month, the unemployment rate of Black Americans was almost twice those of others," Harris said, adding that Native Americans were four times more likely to be hospitalized with the coronavirus.

Biden repeated proposed policies that would increase the corporate tax and increase taxes for the wealthiest Americans while keeping the tax rate for the middle-class consistent. He's also called for more COVID-19 stimulus and more widespread use of the Defense Production Act in order to create jobs while producing more personal protective equipment.

"There’s so much we can do, and we can’t do any of this without working together," Biden said. He also urged Congress to pass coronavirus relief funds.

Biden's address comes as millions of Americans remained unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this month, the Labor Department reported better than expected unemployment numbers from October through the unemployment rate remains at just under 7%.

Prior to the pandemic, the last time unemployment was as high as 7% was about six years ago, as the country continued to recover from the Great Recession.

Biden's comments also come as the stock market has jumped on encouraging news of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Following Moderna's Monday announcement that its vaccine candidate has been 95% effective in Phase 3 trials, the Dow jumped more than 400 points for an increase of about 1.5%.

Despite historic losses in February and March, the Dow remains in the black from the beginning of 2020.

Biden also shared that he and his wife Dr. Jill Biden spent the morning deciding who they would spend Thanksgiving with. Saying they were encouraged by health experts to limit their gathering to a maximum of ten people, while still wearing masks and social distancing.