President-elect Joe Biden was far from Mr. Sunshine on Tuesday as he warned of darker days ahead, sticking to his pledge to tell it like it is.
During a year-end news conference with reporters in Wilmington, Del., Biden said the vaccines, already being administered, won’t ease the immediate pain. “As frustrating as it is to hear, it’s going to take patience, persistence and determination to beat this virus,” he said. “There will be no time to waste in taking the steps we need to turn this crisis around.”
The coronavirus pandemic death toll continues its record ascent, claiming 3,000 Americans each day, with little hope for a quick recovery.
“One thing I promise you about my leadership during this crisis, I’m going to tell it to you straight. I’m going to tell you the truth,” Biden reiterated. “And here’s the simple truth, our darkest days in the battle against COVID are ahead of us, not behind us,” Biden said.
Congress passed a $900 billion COVID-19 aid package Monday, but that will bring only 10 weeks of federal unemployment benefits. “It’s going to take a lot longer than that” for the economy to recover, Biden said while praising the accomplishment.
The aid bill is being held up by President Trump, who, via Twitter video, asked Congress to “increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 per couple,” and could veto the legislation.
Biden reiterated he would push for a bigger package when he is president, including additional direct payments to families as well as vaccine distribution and coronavirus testing.
Biden received his first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Monday on live national television.