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Biden addresses Covid bill and holiday pandemic precautions

Mr Biden’s team also announced a new round of White House staff appointments, led by long-time aide Bruce Reed as deputy chief of staff.

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President-elect Joe Biden (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

President-elect Joe Biden (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

President-elect Joe Biden (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

President-elect Joe Biden has expressed empathy with struggling families and applauded Congress for passing the coronavirus relief bill as the nation deals with a Covid-19 surge that is casting a shadow over the Christmas holiday.

He called out to frontline workers, scientists, researchers, clinical trial participants and those with deployed family members during the holiday season.

“Our hearts are always with you — keep the faith,” he said in a year-end address from Wilmington, Delaware.

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President-elect Joe Biden receives his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

President-elect Joe Biden receives his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

AP/PA Images

President-elect Joe Biden receives his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Noting the ways that the pandemic has altered his own holiday celebrations, which typically include up to two dozen relatives, Mr Biden said “not this year”.

“This season of reflection carries a much deeper meaning than it usually does,” Mr Biden said, encouraging Americans to continue to take precautions to try to stem the spread of the virus, which has now killed more than 320,000 people in the United States.

“Jill and I send our prayers, as I’m sure all of you do, to all that are facing this dark winter.”

The day before, Mr Biden got vaccinated on live television as part of an effort to reassure people that the Covid jab is safe.

“I look forward to the second shot, and I have absolute confidence in the vaccine,” Mr Biden said. “But we’re in short supply.”

On the 900 billion dollars coronavirus aid bill passed by Congress on Monday, Mr Biden called the bill a “down payment” on a broader relief bill he plans to introduce when he takes office in January.

“Like all compromises, this is far from perfect,” Mr Biden said. “Congress did their job this week, and I can and I must ask them to do it again next year.”

On Tuesday, Mr Biden’s team also announced a new round of White House staff appointments, led by long-time aide Bruce Reed as deputy chief of staff.

Mr Reed served as Mr Biden’s chief of staff during his first term as vice president and has long been a close member of Mr Biden’s inner circle of advisers.

Online Editors


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