Joe Biden will offer his post-pandemic economic plan on Monday as the stock market rose with the news of another potential COVID vaccine and President Donald Trump continues to insist he won the election.
Biden and running mate Kamala Harris will speak on their plan to revive the pandemic-battered U.S. economy as stocked soared after drugmaker Moderna said its COVID-19 vaccine is 94.5 percent effective based on preliminary data.
His remarks come as talks are stalled between the Trump White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill about another COVID relief package and several states have started to institute new restrictions as coronavirus cases are on the rise.
Biden is expected to address his short term and long term economic plans. His first major economic test as president could be another package of legislation to bring economic relief to those impacted by the virus, which as shuttered businesses and driven up unemployment.
The president-elect ‘will deliver remarks on ensuring our workers and businesses can operate safely and rebuilding our economy to be more resilient and inclusive. And, he’ll discuss how our economy and the virus are intertwined, and say that we must contain the virus in order to get our economy back on track,’ his transition team said.
Ahead of their speeches, Biden and Harris met with business and labor leaders to discuss the economic recovery.
Those leaders included AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, Microsoft President Satya Nadella, UAW President Rory Gamble, Target CEO Brian Cornell, UFCW President Marc Perrone, AFSCME President Lee Saunders, and GAP CEO Sonia Synga.
During the briefing Biden reminisced with Barra about test driving a car on a test track when he was vice president. In January 2014, Biden met Barra at the Detroit auto show where she showed him a Corvette C7.
And he told the group the objective was ‘get our economy back on track. We all agree on the common goals, just have a slightly different perspective.’
Biden’s Build Back Better economic recovery plan would spend over $7 trillion on initiatives such as infrastructure, which includes the creation of 10 million clean-energy jobs, and on housing, education, economic fairness and health care.
But any economic plan would seen through the lens of the coronavirus-recession. There have been more than 10 million infections in the United States and the rate is reaching more than 100,000 infections per day.
President Trump, meanwhile, refuses to concede to his Democratic rival even as his lawsuits in key battleground states have failed and his campaign has turned up no evidence of voter fraud.
‘I won the Election!’ Trump tweeted Monday morning, again falsely claiming victory. Twitter posted a disclaimer on his Tweet, writing: ‘Official sources called this election differently.’
Biden holds 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232 – the same margin Trump won by in 2016 when he declared a ‘landslide’ victory over Hillary Clinton. Biden also leads in the popular vote by at least 5.5 million votes with ballots still being counted.
The official transition process hasn’t started yet amid the president’s refusal to yield.
Biden’s incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said Sunday that the delay in starting the process could result in a delay in distributing a COVID vaccine.
‘We now have the possibility, we need to see if it gets approved, of a vaccine starting perhaps in December, January. There are people at [the Department of Health and Human Services] making plans to implement that vaccine,’ he said on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’ ‘Our experts need to talk to those people as soon as possible so nothing drops in this change of power.’
Until the General Services Administration gives the transition process the official go-ahead, Biden’s transition team cannot speak with federal officials. The agency, headed by a Trump appointee, has given no indication when it will give a letter of certification to the federal departments to begin the transfer of power.
Meanwhile, the stock market is up after Moderna announced its promising news on a COVID vaccine – making it the second U.S. company in a week to report results that far exceed expectations.
Moderna was part of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed program. And, unlike Pfizer’s vaccine, Moderna’s shot can be stored at normal fridge temperatures, which should make it easier to distribute.
The U.S. government has already bought 100 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine, which is enough to vaccinate 50 million Americans given people need to have two shots.
Trump reacted to the news by tweeting: ‘Another Vaccine just announced. This time by Moderna, 95% effective. For those great ‘historians’, please remember that these great discoveries, which will end the China Plague, all took place on my watch!’
And Biden praised the news while cautioning Americans to still practice social distancing and wearing masks.
‘Today’s news of a second vaccine is further reason to feel hopeful. What was true with the first vaccine remains true with the second: we are still months away. Until then, Americans need to continue to practice social-distancing and mask-wearing to get the virus under control,’ Biden wrote on Twitter.
Pfizer announced a week ago that its own COVID-19 vaccine was 90 percent effective – news that puts both companies on track to get FDA authorization within weeks for emergency use in the United States.
Moderna expects it to be stable at standard refrigerator temperatures of 36 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 days and it can be stored for up to 6 months at -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pfizer’s vaccine must be shipped and stored at minus 94F, the sort of temperature typical of an Antarctic winter. At standard refrigerator temperatures, it can be stored for up to five days.