Biden says things could get back to normal by next Christmas

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The prediction of nearly another year under pandemic cushioning conditions was admittedly not optimistic. But Biden always said it was as good as he could deliver with any level of confidence.

“As my mother would say, with the grace of God and the goodwill of the neighbors, that by next Christmas I think we will be in a very different situation, God willing, from what we are today” , Biden said. “In a year, I think there will be a lot less people who need to be socially distanced, who need to wear a mask.”

Speaking on his first exit from Washington after nearly a month in office, Biden sought a frank break with Donald Trump – who he says is his only living predecessor not to reach out – including by returning what he said realistic. pandemic predictions.

Biden described a national fixation on Trump that, now that the 45th President’s second impeachment trial is over, he intended to break up.

“For four years all that made the news was Trump,” he said. “The next four years, I want to make sure all the news is about the American people. I’m sick of talking about Trump.”

His main focus in Milwaukee was to present his massive Covid-19 relief plan, which he said needs to ‘go big’. But insisted on the overarching question for many Americans – when life can be restored to what it was before the coronavirus began to ravage the country – he was aiming low.

“Be careful not to predict things you don’t know for sure because then you will be held responsible,” he said, describing the advice he said he received on predicting the path of the pandemic.

Refocus on Covid-19

No longer encumbered by his predecessor’s trial and eager to grab national attention, Biden’s first working trip outside Washington signaled his intention to make a public sales pitch for his program. Covid-19 relief aside, Biden asserted his support for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, said more money was needed for law enforcement and insisted he would not interfere with the work of the Department of Justice.
Aides previously said the president, known for his outgoing style with voters, was eager to escape the White House, which he described at the event as a “golden cage.” This style was widely displayed, including when it sought to reassure a sophomore who feared catching Covid-19.

“Don’t be afraid, honey,” he told her. “Are you doing well”

But the event focused primarily on the substance of his plans to provide relief to the American people after nearly a year-long pandemic. He offered a more optimistic schedule for vaccines, touting a large-scale vaccination program that he said was woefully inadequate when he entered the White House.

“There was nothing in the refrigerator, literally and figuratively,” Biden said, promising that there would be enough vaccines available for almost all Americans by the end of July, even though the process of their actual administration could take longer.

He said teachers would have to advance in the queue to receive gunfire in order to reopen many classrooms five days a week by the end of April, attempting to clarify an administration position he recognized. had become confused over the past week.

Biden said he wanted K-8 schools to be open five days a week, and suggested some schools should stay open during the summer to make up for lost time. He said he believed his goal could be achieved during his first 100 days in office.

“We have a significant percentage of them that can be opened,” he said. “I guess they’ll probably push to open all summer.”

Pressed on how he would bring students back to classrooms, Biden said he would focus on providing vaccines to teachers: “I think we should vaccinate teachers. We should raise them in the hierarchy. “, did he declare.

But he admitted that there had been mistakes on the part of his administration on reopening schools, saying it was a “mistake” to say his goal was to reopen classrooms only. day a week, which his press secretary said last week.

His main goal, however, was to promote his US stimulus package, his first legislative effort. White House advisers insist the $ 1.9 trillion proposal is popular with a wide range of Americans, including Republicans, even though Biden did not gain the support of any senator of the GOP. By taking stock of the road and answering questions from Americans, he hoped to highlight the relief the plan would bring nearly a year after the start of the pandemic.

“Now is the time to spend, now is the time to go big,” he said. The package includes direct payments to families of up to $ 1,400, money for state and local governments, and more funding for immunization efforts.

The White House hopes for final adoption of the plan by mid-March, when some unemployment benefits expire. House committees began drafting individual sections of the measure before it was compiled into a single bill. Democrats use a procedural process that would allow them to go through a simple Senate majority – which Democrats hold – rather than demanding 60 votes to overcome an almost certain objection from the GOP.

New normal

In the new president's routine: fires in the Oval Office and going to bed early

The visit to Milwaukee is Biden’s first real trip as president, although he returned home to Wilmington two weekends ago. He first flew aboard the iconic jumbo jet typically used as Air Force One after using a smaller model to get to Delaware.

Using the traditional symbols of the Presidency to advance its agenda is one of the benefits of the job; Biden will use it again on Thursday when he travels to Kalamazoo, Mich., To visit a Pfizer vaccine manufacturing plant.

He admitted on Tuesday that he was in awe of the White House, which he said breathed history. Although he was vice president for eight years, he said he spent almost no time in the Presidential Residence on the third floor of the White House. He said it was an adjustment to have a full-time staff of “decent” people whose job it is to serve him.

“I find myself extremely embarrassed by myself,” he said.

The famous gregarious politician was eager to get out of Washington and engage in dialogue with the public, interactions that have been limited amid the ongoing pandemic. A senior official said Tuesday’s trip would likely be the first of several as Biden continues to mobilize support for the back-up plan.

Typically, new presidents set out their legislative priorities in a speech to a joint session of Congress, a State of the Union-like speech broadcast live on television and closely watched for signals of the priorities of the Congress. administration. Biden still intends to deliver such a speech once the Covid-19 relief plan is passed, according to the White House, but does not expect it to happen this month.

It’s later than usual, leaving City Hall and other upcoming events as Biden’s main platform for moving his agenda forward.


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