Biden Talks Economy and Pandemic In Monday Speech

11/17/20 By Carol Rangel

CC Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore on Flickr

The current Pandemic and the Nation’s economic recession are two issues that walk hand in hand to haunt Americans. President-elect Joe Biden tackled the two in a speech held after a meeting with corporate and union leaders on Monday. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic reaching new heights in the U.S., the ongoing economic recession asks for immediate action. Biden pressed for the release of economic relief to individuals and businesses and criticized Donald Trump’s ‘lame-duck’ presidency for lack of action on that front.

“The idea that the President is still playing golf and not doing anything about it is beyond my comprehension,” Biden said. “This is about keeping Americans afloat. The money is there.”

Biden spelled out his longer-term economic plan to “build back better” by advocating for unions and communities of color. He emphasized the role that employment plays on the dignity of an individual. His plan includes a US$15 minimum wage nationwide, the creation of millions of union jobs, the support for small businesses and entrepreneurs, and the prioritization of buying American.

“It’s time to reward work, not just wealth in America,” Biden said. 

The Biden-Harris transition plan holds the battle against COVID-19 as a priority. The President-elect highlighted the difference between a vaccine and vaccination, meaning that there is a long road ahead from the encouraging progress the vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna have shown in the last week to all Americans getting vaccinated. 

With the Holiday season upon Americans, Biden promoted COVID-19 safety guidelines such as limited space capacity and social distancing. The usage of masks gained a special emphasis. Biden commended Governors, both Republicans and Democrats, who issued a state-wide mask mandate and criticized those who have resisted it by turning the issue of masks into a political one. 

“What the hell is the matter with these guys? It’s totally irresponsible.” Biden said. “It’s about patriotism. It’s about saving lives.”

Biden ended his speech with his consistent message of unity, stating that he sees no blue and red states, but the United States. He recognized the necessity of bipartisan cooperation to move forward. 

“The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to work with one another is not due to a mysterious force beyond our control. It’s a conscious decision.” Biden said. “If we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate.”