President-elect Joe Biden holds roundtable with frontline workers, vows to fight COVID-19

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ByGray Hall via WPVI logo
Thursday, November 19, 2020
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President-elect Joe Biden is moving forward with his plans to fight the coronavirus.

President-elect Joe Biden is moving forward with his plans to fight the coronavirus.

"This crisis has shown the nation we literally couldn't survive without you all," he said.

Biden told a group of frontline workers from around the country in a virtual roundtable on Wednesday that he's committed to fighting the COVID crisis. He listened to concerns that sometimes got emotional.

"I myself have held the hand of dying patients who were crying out for their family that they can't see. I have fought for my co-workers as they fight for their life on a ventilator," said Mary Turner, with the Minnesota Nurses Association.

Some of the main issues discussed were more testing for workers and more PPE.

"We are wearing personal protective equipment sometimes over and over again because we don't have quite the access that we need. It's not intended for reuse and that puts people at risk," said Anthony Murray, of the International Association of Firefighters.

"President-elect Biden, there is something seriously wrong when the nurses have to take to the streets to beg for protection in the middle of a pandemic," said Turner.

The President-elect said his team is ready to tackle the virus but admits the Trump Administration is not making that easy. So far, President Donald Trump has not conceded the November election and is blocking the Biden-Harris team access to the pandemic and national security briefings.

"There is a whole lot of things that we don't have available to us and unless it is made available soon we will be behind by weeks or months being able to put together the whole initiative," said Biden.

Biden made it clear his battle to tackle the coronavirus can only kick into full gear when he officially becomes president. When that happens, he vows to fight as hard as healthcare workers are fighting to save lives in their communities.

"I have no budget. I can't do any of this until I am sworn in or I can convince the president now to do things that should be being done already," said Biden.

The president-elect continues to warn that delays in launching a formal presidential transition process could jeopardize efforts to contain increasing COVID-19 cases and vaccine distribution planning in the country.