In his first policy speech on the coronavirus after he was elected president, Joe Biden implored the public to wear masks as he warned the United States was still facing a “dark winter,” even as a vaccine seems nearer.
“I will spare no effort to turn this pandemic around once we are sworn in on January 20,” Biden said, with a symbol of the office the president-elect behind him. He vowed to push out vaccine doses “free of charge” as quickly as possible, but stressed he would “follow the science.”
Biden promised to ensure more protective gear for medics and expand testing, but much of his speech focused on a message of mask-wearing, as he urged people to stop viewing face coverings as a partisan political issue, saying they will save lives during the pandemic.
“I implore you, wear a mask. Do it for yourself, do it for your neighbour. A mask is not a political statement but it is a good way to start pulling the country together,” he said. “The goal is to get back to normal as fast as possible and masks are critical in doing that.”