Biden talks about coronavirus pandemic, economic recovery

President-elect Joe Biden made remarks on the virus crisis and a U.S. economic recovery ahead of his inauguration next week.

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: Just as we're in the midst of a dark winter of this pandemic, as cases, hospitalizations, and deaths spiked at record levels, there is real pain overwhelming the real economy. One where people rely on paychecks, not their investments, to pay for their bills, and their meals, and their children's needs. You won't see this pain if your scorecard is how things are going on Wall Street.

But you will see it fairly clearly if you examine what the twin crises of a pandemic and this sinking economy have laid bare, the growing divide between those few people at the very top, who are doing quite well in this economy, and the rest of America. Just since this pandemic began, the wealth of the top 1% of the nation has grown roughly $1.5 trillion since the end of last year, four times the amount for the entire bottom 50% of American wage-earners.

Some 18 million Americans are still relying on unemployment insurance. Some 400,000 small businesses have permanently closed their doors. And it's not hard to see that we're in the middle of a once in several generations economic crisis with a once in several generations public health crisis. A crisis of deep human suffering is in plain sight, and there's no time to waste. We have to act, and we have to act now.