Biden calls for urgent action on coronavirus, says ‘crisis does not respect dates on calendar’

The president-elect calls on Americans to return to social distancing, mask wearing

Graig Graziosi
Friday 13 November 2020 21:46
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Dr Fauci says he will work with Biden

President-elect Joe Biden has called for urgent action in response to the coronavirus after receiving an alarming briefing from his Covid-19 advisory board.  

"Our country is experiencing surges in reported infections, hospitalizations, and fatalities all over the country, with virtually nowhere getting spared. Our doctors, nurses, and other health care workers are under enormous -- and growing -- strain," Mr Biden said in a statement. "This week's news on progress toward a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is positive, but it will be many months before there is widespread vaccination in this country."

The president-elect called for "a robust and immediate federal response" which he said has been "woefully lacking."

He noted that he is not yet president, but pointed out that the "crisis does not respect dates on the calendar" and that it is currently accelerating.  

The US reported more than 153,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, shattering previous records. 

Health officials believe the spike is largely the result of Americans letting their guards down by engaging in small social gatherings indoors. 

More than 240,000 Americans have died from the virus. 

He called on the Trump administration to act in order to support the growing needs of frontline healthcare workers as hospitals strain against the surge of new patients due to the virus.  

"Urgent action is needed today, now, by the current administration -- starting with an acknowledgment of how serious the current situation is," Mr Biden said. "Resources for frontline health care workers, including personal protective equipment that is again in short supply. Surge capacity for hospitals that are at risk of running out of beds."

He called for Americans to take responsibility and renew mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing to prevent the spread of the virus.  

"I understand it's not easy. I know people are tired. But this will not go on forever. We are moving toward a vaccine. We are improving our ability to test," Mr Biden said. "We are developing better treatments. We can get through this -- and come out the other side stronger. But right now is a moment for shared responsibility and shared action."

He pledged to do "everything in my power" to help fight the virus once he takes power in January. 

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