Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on the last day of 2020 called for America to “unite, heal, and rebuild” during the next year.
“The challenges we face as a nation will not disappear overnight, but as we look forward to the start of a new year, I’m filled with fresh hope about the possibilities of better days to come,” Biden wrote in a social media statement.
“After a year of pain and loss, let us unite, heal, and rebuild in 2021,” he added.
The year included the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people losing their jobs due to measures put into place in response to the pandemic, and other major issues.
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, over 345,000 Americans have died with COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. That figure is disputed by some, who believe the death count is not accurate.
Biden has alleged that President Donald Trump mismanaged the nationwide response to the pandemic, though he initially opposed some measures that Trump put into place, such as a travel ban on China.
Earlier this week, the Democrat warned that “things are going to get worse before they get better” when it comes to COVID-19.
“We have to anticipate that the infections over the holidays will produce soaring case counts in January and soaring death tolls into February. Turning this around is going to take time. We might not see improvement until we’re well into March,” he alleged.
In an interview just before midnight on New Year’s Eve, Biden struck a different note, calling himself optimistic.
“There’s never been a single thing America has been unable to overcome, no matter how drastic it’s been, when we’ve done it together. Never, never, never. America can do anything. And I’m absolutely positively, confident—confident—we’re going to come back and come back even stronger than we were before,” he said.
Trump, meanwhile, released a video from the White House touting the accomplishments his administration has achieved, including the unprecedented speed of development of COVID-19 vaccines.
“We ignored the experts who demanded open borders, and we shut down travel from China and Europe to protect our citizens, and we built the wall. We pioneered groundbreaking new therapies and treatments and we saved millions of American lives. Over and over again, we were told it would be impossible to deliver a vaccine by the end of the year; all of the experts said ‘absolutely unthinkable, Trump is exaggerating, it can’t happen.’ And we did it, long before the end of the year,” he said.
“They said it would take a medical miracle. And that’s exactly what it is. Years from now they’ll be talking about it, they’ll be talking about this great, great thing that we did with the vaccines,” he added.
Trump said that by early next year, the vaccines will be available to every American, with plans to send doses to other countries thereafter.
Trump’s administration initially projected that 20 million Americans would be injected by the end of the year with one of the new shots, but that number was only around 2.8 million, according to federal data.
Adm. Brett Giroir, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said this week that officials expect that number to accelerate in the coming weeks.