Joe Biden says he would waste no time in working on a new coronavirus relief package if he were to win in November.
The Democratic candidate said this week that if elected president, he would immediately get to work reaching out to state and local leaders to lay the groundwork for a relief package that he could sign shortly after taking office in January. As Politico reported, Biden said he would spend his transition period learning what support is needed on a local level and plans to ask Congress to put together a bill for his approval by the end of January.
Democrats in Congress have pushed for a new relief package that includes more direct payments to Americans, though talks with Republicans and with President Donald Trump have not progressed.
As the report noted, Biden has been sharply critical of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, saying more should have been done to keep the number of infections lower. He also pushed back against Trump for saying there was “not much” he would have done differently.
“As many as 210,000 avoidable deaths, but there’s not much you would do differently?” Biden said. “The United States is 4 percent of the entire world’s population, yet we make up 20 percent of all the deaths worldwide.”
Experts have warned that infections will likely continue to rise throughout the fall and winter, when social distancing becomes more difficult. As The Inquisitr reported, the United States set a one-day record on Friday with more than 82,000 confirmed cases. The New York Times reported that cases have been rising steadily for several weeks, with hospitalizations on a sharp upswing as well.
“By that measure, Friday was the worst day of the pandemic, and health experts warned of a further surge as cold weather sets in,” the report noted, adding that the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has risen by 40 percent over the past month. The number of deaths has remained flat, but the report added that this is often a lagging indicator.
Biden has said throughout his campaign that he will follow the lead of medical experts and take the steps necessary to slow the spread of coronavirus, including making a pitch for widespread mask-wearing. As Politico noted, he has said that wearing a mask is not a political statement but instead a “scientific imperative,” saying that people should feel a sense of patriotic pride in wearing them so that the United States can “pull our country out of this god-awful spiral we’re in.”