President-elect Joe Biden warned Americans that despite the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed has resulted in at least two COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out this month, the country's "darkest days" are ahead.
The United States has reached 316,844 total deaths from COVID-19, according to the Center for Disease Control, and cases have been spiking in recent weeks, with state officials telling people to not travel for the holiday season.
"Our darkest days in the battle against COVID are ahead of us, not behind us. So we need to prepare ourselves, to steel our spine. As frustrating as it is to hear, it’s going to take patience, persistence and determination to beat this virus," Biden said.
"There will be no time to waste in taking the steps we need to turn this crisis around. My administration will start to do its part on our first day in office, with masking requirement, a new strategy for testing, accelerated protection, protective gear. We’re gonna challenge Congress and the American people to step up immediately as well to do their part. As the relief bill passed by Congress, there’s another challenge my administration will confront on a bipartisan basis," he continued.
Biden said the country will also need to "fully distribute the vaccine" and increase testing in order for schools to fully reopen.
Biden's messaging is in stark contrast to what President Trump has been stating for months, saying the country is rounding the corner and the pandemic will be over soon now that the vaccines are being distributed and administered.
Biden received the first COVID-19 dose on Monday and urged the American people to receive it too.
Today, I received the COVID-19 vaccine.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 22, 2020
To the scientists and researchers who worked tirelessly to make this possible — thank you. We owe you an awful lot.
And to the American people — know there is nothing to worry about. When the vaccine is available, I urge you to take it. pic.twitter.com/QBtB620i2V