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tv   President- Elect Biden Vice President- Elect Harris Remarks After Meeting...  CSPAN  November 20, 2020 6:31am-7:00am EST

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the 2020 election. bloomberg reports the results show joe biden maintain the lead of more than 12,000 votes over president trump, making him the first democrat to carry georgia since bill clinton. foundthe recount uncounted ballots, it was not enough to change the outcome of the race. the trump until over 24th to request another recount. if that is made it, it would require all paper pallets to be run through scanners. joe biden is the president-elect with 306 electoral votes. president trump 232. >> president-elect biden and vice president-elect harris spoke with governors concerning the coronavirus pandemic and economy. the former vice president said he had not ruled out taking legal action against the general
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services administration for not recognizing the election win, and giving his team access to information for the transition of power. sen. harris: good afternoon. president-elect biden and i met with democratic and republican governors. we talked about what we need to do to make free testing available to everyone, to make a free vaccine available for everyone and to get this pandemic under control. governors are elected by their states to take action in moments of crisis. they are the ones who talk to the people who are the hardest hit and during this pandemic to have been called on to make very difficult decisions about the health and safety of the people they represent and about opening schools and opening our economy responsibly.
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i have served in state and local government so i understand the critical role our governors play. they will have partners in the white house starting january 20 because as governor herbert said in our meeting, when the states are successful, the country is successful. our message to our governor into all of our nations state and local leaders is simple. president-elect biden and i will make sure you have the resources and support you need to save lives and help get our economy back on track. and we will also make sure that our federal, state, local, and tribal authorities are working closely together so they can tackle these challenges as effectively as possible.
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because when it comes to this pandemic and the economic recovery, we are not democrats or republicans, we are americans and we will be there for one another. that's the kind of leadership the american people need and deserve and it is the kind of leadership president-elect biden and i will provide and is now my great honor to introduce president-elect joe biden. mr. biden: hello, folks. good afternoon. thanks for your patience. the vice president-elect and i have just concluded a video conference with the executive leadership of the national governors' conference. that included governor cuomo, new york governor hutchison, governor hogan, governor whitmer
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, governor baker, governor lujan grisham, governor herbert and governor carney. it was really a worthwhile undertaking. you know, they have had to make some really tough calls during this unprecedented crisis. and we are incredibly grateful for everything they have done and keep doing to keep our communities safe. unfortunately, because of a lack of discernment, as they say, which is a fancy word these days but until the head of the gsa that says we in fact are seeing this transition team, our team, the senator and i, are in fact the likely winners. until she does that, we don't have access to all the information that we need to get from all the various agencies. we are not able to deal with everything from testing and guidance, the all important issue of vaccine distribution and more importantly, vaccine plan to get vaccinations.
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we haven't been able to get to operation warp speed. but we will take what we have learned today and build it into the plan. we are still in a crisis. there is a dark winter ahead. yesterday, america reached another tragic milestone, 250,000 deaths. a quarter million people have died of covid-19. there are empty chairs and dining room tables that were filled just days and weeks ago with loved ones, family and friends who laughed and talked together. to those families and friends that were left behind, jill and i send our love and our prayers. we know as many of you do how tough it is to find purpose in the memory of a loved one you have just lost.
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it will take time but you will find it. you will find it. and you will find your purpose as we are going to find their purpose for our nation as a nation now. i promise you that and i promise that we will work together. there was a great meeting we had today. all the governors, no matter their political party, whatever part of the country they represented, no matter their political philosophy, shared a strong and abiding sense of a common purpose. there is a real desire for real partnership between states and the federal government. each of the governors emphasized we might be democrats and republicans but we are all americans first. they congratulated us heartily for our win. what really pleased me was governors made clear that beating covid-19 will acquire all of us working together as one country. kamala and i agree. we were deeply impressed with how much consensus there was and how to move forward among the governors. what we need to do now is how we
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need to do it. how are we going to do it and what coordinated way will it be done? we discussed a number of critical ways we can work together, and unify around the national approach. deliver economic relief to the cities, states and tribal communities. the lost revenue from covid and the cost of covid is devastating to state and local budgets and as governors indicated, we have got to come together. the federal government has to deliver this relief sooner rather than later and with flexibility for states to meet their needs. this includes businesses, schools, working families from unemployment benefits to early education, continued access to affordable health care, all that is needed during this pandemic. states and communities should not have to lay off teachers, cops, firefighters, cut vital services for families and businesses. the second thing there is uniform agreement on. delivering a safe equitable and
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free vaccine. the governors all acknowledged this will be a massive undertaking, one of the greatest operational challenges we will have faced in the nation. one statistic that was raised by the governors, it took eight months to provide 100 million covid tests. eight months to provide covid tests. just imagine how much more difficult it would be, they pointed out, if we don't find a more efficient and effective way to provide 330 million vaccinations. put it in perspective. they made the point we can't wait. that's what the governors are raising. in the meeting, we discussed the challenges that lie ahead in distributing and administering the vaccine. the governors talked about how getting doses of vaccine distributed is one step. we have to actually get vaccinations into the arms of 330 million americans.
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that takes enormous resources, people, products. we discussed the difficulty of that task. it's going to take time and it's going to take coordination. it's going to take the federal and state government working hand in glove working together. the governors emphasized we need to be clear with the american people about what to expect. no false expectations. let them know what we anticipate. they all acknowledged that this will take a massive public education campaign and we also need to reach traditionally underserved communities that are being hardest hit by the pandemic. black, brown, latino, native american communities. small towns, rural communities. they talked about that in some detail. thirdly, we discussed the need to help states with title 32 funding for the national guard. that's a fancy way of saying governors need to be able to get funding. and when they need to bring the
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national guard into play. it is going to cost a lot of money. governors need that paid for. governors discussed the need for funding when waiving certain fema fees. the fact is this is a national emergency. that is what fema is supposed to deal with. our view is that should be done when it comes to deploying the national guard for covid relief that should be paid for. that is something kamala and i will be focused on. and fourth, we discussed the implementation of a national mask mandate. 10 governors, democrat and republican, imposing masking requirements and recognize the need for universal masking. north, south, east, and west. it's not a political statement. it is a patriotic duty. fifth, we discussed making testing more available and
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accessible. anyone who wants a test should be able to get one, period. and finally, while we focused on immediate need to control the virus, the governors also talked about how to build back better, especially with infrastructure and education and so much more. this is not a one-off meeting. i committed, we committed and we agreed that we will continue to work and meet with governors on a regular basis. continue to seek their input and that our covid teams will follow up and coordinate on issues coming out of that call. because some of them have very competent people on their covid teams in their state. the bottom line, we can do this. there's nothing beyond our capacity. but we have to come together as a country. what this meeting along with others we have had, it reinforces in my view the unity of the country is looking for. they are looking for us to come
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together and deal with problems, most of which have no ideological basis for disagreement. that is what we have to do. that is what the governors talked about. it was really pleasing to hear them and i want to thank you all and may god bless you all and those who have lost someone, you are in our prayers. may god protect our troops. i'm happy to take a few questions and my boss is going to tell me who that is. >> thank you, mr. president-elect. i know you mentioned the economic impact and talked a bit about the relief package you wanted, but i was wondering if you will talk about things you will be able to do just as president and what will govern your decisions in terms of the economy. i was wondering if i could ask what kind of framework you are thinking about as you decide about the treasury secretary going forward whether you would
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consider -- you said during the debate you wanted to punish china for the way they have been acting, whether that would include economic sanctions or tariffs towards china? and finally, do you think a strong dollar hurts or helps the u.s. as we are grappling with historic unemployment? mr. biden: look, let me take them one at a time. you will soon hear my choice for treasury. we made that decision and you'll hear that just before or just after thanksgiving number one and you will find it is someone who i think will be accepted by all elements of the democratic party, from the progressive to the moderate coalitions. secondly, it's not so much about punishing china. it's about making sure china understands they have to play by the rules. it's a simple proposition and so that's one of the reasons why we are going to rejoin the world health organization. we are going to rejoin on day
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one as well. it needs reform, i acknowledge, and rejoin the paris climate accord. we have to make sure that the rest of the world and we get together and make sure they are certain bright lines the chinese understand. we have to not only deal with this pandemic, we have to plan for the next one. the idea that these viruses are just going to go away is not rational. we are going to recalibrate and set up the institutional structure we had in the administration of obama-biden and build on it. what was your third question? >> about the dollar, sir. whether you think a strong dollar will help with unemployment or generally how you would like the federal reserve to approach it? mr. biden: the way the federal reserve has been approaching dealing with the dollar has been in a positive direction. interest rates are as low as they have been in modern history
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and i think that is a positive thing. it lends credence to the possibility of us being able to expend the money and deficit spend in order to be able to generate economic growth right off the bat. i think it's positive so far. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. president-elect. you have said if this transition does not get going, especially coordinate some vaccine distribution, that lives will be lost. how many lives do you think are at risk if this transition remains stalled? mr. biden: well, look, you've heard the projections. the projections if nothing fundamentally changes between now and the beginning of february, we will likely lose up to a total of 400,000 lives and another 150,000 lives. so, it's real. whether it is that, 360, whatever it is, it is real and
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there is no excuse not to share the data and let us begin to plan because on day one it's going to take us time if we don't have access to all this data, it is going to put us behind the 8 ball by a matter of a month or more and that's lives. how many would be lost as a consequence of that, i cannot tell you. but the purpose here is to get -- we talked a lot about with the governors about what their immediate needs. we are going to enforce, excuse me employ the defense act to be able to go out there and dictate companies build and do the following things. we need much more testing. we need much more masking and we need gloves. i asked the national governors association, governor cuomo and ones on the line to let us know what their shortages are. what they anticipate, because we are going to move on day one. that should be moved on now,
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now. if they wait to take a long time to get this thing going. >> when you take a step back and look at the way the president and his refusal to concede, what do you think is really going on here? in your view, mr. president-elect, what do you think the president is doing? what are americans witnessing here? mr. biden: let me choose my words. i think we are witnessing incredible irresponsibility, incredibly damaging messages being sent to the rest of the world about how democracy functions, and i think it is -- well, i don't know his motives but i think it's totally irresponsible. >> are you concerned he may succeed? that people might question the legitimacy of your administration? mr. biden: no, i'm not concerned that the vast majority of the people as the polling data have indicated over 70% of the american people believe without question it is legitimate.
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i think most of the republicans i've spoken to, including some governors, think this is debilitating. it sends a horrible message about who we are as a country. >> thank you, mr. president-elect and thank you vice president-elect harris. appreciate it. you have said that lives could be lost if you don't start getting briefings from the trump administration and now here we are more than 250,000 lives could be lost. given that, how do you justify not taking legal action to get the briefings that you say are critical that you say you need? mr. biden: it would take a lot of time. it would take time. it is not going to speed it up
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considerably, in my view. in the meantime, i am hopeful that i'm going to be able to get cooperation from our republican colleagues in the senate and the house, as well as the governors, to build a consensus. this is how we proceed when we do. >> but why not use every tool in your toolbox to get the information that you say you need to do your job and to do it effectively on day one? mr. biden: i am making a judgment based on many years of experience on how to get things done with the opposition. my judgment is that we will get further along by actually working with our republican colleagues now and because the time in which we would win would not materially change necessarily but it's still an open question.
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it's an open question that could change. >> so you haven't ruled it out? you haven't ruled out legal action against the trump administration or the gsa? >> we haven't ruled it out. >> ok. and given the death toll now, more than 250,000 americans who have now lost their lives you've said that you would support the nationwide shutdown if scientists recommended it. fmr. v.p. biden: no. everybody asks that question every single time i stand here. it was a hypothetical question and the answer was i would follow the science. i'm not going to shut down the economy, period. i'm going to shut down the virus. that's what i'm going to shut down. again, no national shutdown. no national shutdown. because every region, every area, every community can be different. and so there is no circumstance that i can see that would require total national shutdown.
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i think that would be counterproductive. but there are constraints in which the degree to which businesses can be opened. for example, it's one thing to say that you can have an estate where the infection rate isn't as high you can have a gymnasium opened. it's another thing to say it can be open four hours a day with x number of people. the church i go to, the catholic church, they only allow 40% of the people to come into the church. those are rational decisions. it's not shutting down everything. it's calibrated based on what the trend is. >> thank you, mr. vice president elect. fmr. v.p. biden: thank you. >> thank you, mr. president-elect, and vice president-elect harris. the question is, what do you make of the fact that the president is having these calls
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with michigan county officials? he is going to be also having michigan republican legislators at the white house tomorrow. is anything that he's doing making you rethink your strategy? i know you say that you don't want to have legal action right now. what do you say to americans, especially immigrant americans who came to the united states looking for political stability and seeing all of the things that the president is doing. fmr. v.p. biden: hang on. i'm on my way. that's what i say to them. not a joke. and what the president is doing now is really, it's going to be another incident where he will go down in history as being one of the most irresponsible presidents in american history. it's just not even within the norm at all.
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there's questions on whether it's even legal. it's going to be interesting to see who shows up in this call to meet with the leadership. but we've won michigan. it's going to be certified. we're going to end up making clear that they are, making it clear that we won. but i just -- it's hard to fathom how this man thinks. it's hard to fathom. i'm confident he knows he hasn't won and isn't going to be able to win. we will be sworn in january 20. far for me to question his motives. it's just outrageous what he's doing. >> the things that he's doing, calling officials, is it making you rethink your strategy at all? is there anything to say that we
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really have to go to court now? or are you still just watching what he is doing and saying we can kind of wait and see what happens? fmr. v.p. biden: i won't rule anything out or anything in. at the moment, the strategy isn't changing. >> if i could ask a question to the vice president-elect? fmr. v.p. biden: sure. >> you talked about your state experience. my question is there anything that you've heard from the governors today that made you specifically concerned about vulnerable populations especially as i top to americans to say, i don't have the privilege to work from home. i don't have the privilege if i'm losing and living in a house with multi-generations. did you hear anything that concerns you, specifically, and what can we do for them as a country? v.p. elect-harris: as the president-elect shared, we heard a lot from the governors, including that, including the concern that african-americans,
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latinos, native americans, people who live in rural communities, people who have historically been under resourced and under served. and so there was consensus among the governors, bipartisan consensus that are federal strategy should reflect those concerns in a way that we support the states with the resources they will need to get to the folks who have been often overlooked or ignored. and the president-elect, i think, has made it clear that's one of our highest priority to support that. as you may know in the senate, i actually led will be the racial disparity task force. and that's something that will we will be incorporating in our administration to make sure that all people have equal access to resources. but also taking into account equitable distributions of resources based on need. >> thank you, president-elect biden. fmr. v.p. biden: one important thing to understand is, and we say, and we've talked a lot about this.
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we talked about it when i was running and seeking the nomination, as well. and that's that the idea of the brown, black, asian americans, native american communities are always the first ones hit the hardest and always the last ones who were brought back. we're going to flip that around. it's going to be really important to determine priorities based upon access to the information that's available, access to everything from the vaccine to other opportunities to be able to deal with helping the country, part of the country's that's been hurt the worst. two times as many african americans have died from covid as white americans who have died from covid. so, there has to be a prioritization. that's why i would like to know exactly what this administration has in mind in terms of their operation warp speed and how
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they plan it. and that's what we talked about with the governors today. they all mentioned the need to focus on the communities who have been left behind, particularly governor cuomo. it's one thing, for example, the vaccines are distributed to all of the walgreens in america. no criticism of walgreens but, you know, there's a lot of those facilities not in rural communities and not in poor communities, african american and latino communities so we have to make sure there is access for them. >> [inaudible] fmr. v.p. biden: thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> joe biden as president-elect, stay with c-span for the transition of power. c-span, your unfiltered view of
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politics. >> come up live on friday, the u.s. house returns at 9:00 eastern. numbers work on the national apprenticeship act. on c-span 2, the armed services committee on the u.s. mission in afghanistan. at 12:30 p.m., mike pence is in georgia for a campaign event for georgia republican senators. they both face runoff elections in january. on c-span 3, the ways and means committee hears from irs commissioner charles rettig. up, the results of campaign 2020. the covid-19 pandemic. the form


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