Dec 11, 2020
Joe Biden Announces Key Administration Officials Press Briefing Transcript December 11
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris held a briefing on December 11 to announce key administration officials. Check out the transcript of the event here.
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Joe Biden: (00:00)
This week marked another tragic milestone in our fight against COVID-19. More than 3000 deaths in one single day, the highest single death count during this pandemic. That’s more deaths in a single day than we saw on 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, this is serious business. And the current director of the CDC said yesterday, “We can expect the similar numbers of death or more every single day for the next 60 to 90 days.” We’re in a teeth for crisis right now and this nation needs presidential leadership right now, a presidential leadership that is willing to model the steps we should be taking to save our own lives and lives of our families.
Joe Biden: (00:52)
We can wish this away but we have to face it head on, we have to take it head on. Using every power available to me as president, we’ll have a national coordinated strategy that will beat this virus. And as tough as things are now I firmly believe better days are ahead. We’ve got some good news was yesterday. The FDA Committee, I should say, recommended emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s BioiNTech COVID-19 vaccine, but we’re grateful for the scientists not only there but other great organizations, researchers to develop this vaccine and several others on the way.
Joe Biden: (01:35)
And we’re just as grateful to the scientists and the public experts who evaluated its safety and efficiency free from political influence. I want to make it clear to the public, you should have confidence in this. There is no political influence, these are first-rate scientists taking their time looking at all of the elements that need to be looked at. Scientific integrity led us to this point.
Joe Biden: (02:02)
We know the immense challenges and hard work ahead. Earlier this week, I announced our COVID response team that will scale up the manufacturing, distribution, and injection of the vaccine. We set a bold and doable challenge in my first 100 days, 100 million shots in 100 days, asking the American people to wear masks for the first 100 days of our administration. Now, if we get the necessary funding from Congress we can get most of our schools open in 100 days but we need the help from the Congress and the funding the first 100 days won’t end the COVID-19 but meeting those goals can slow the spread, save lives and get us back to our lives with the people we love the most. And we’ll also be getting the right people confirmed during this period of time and in place to manage robust, aggressive plan to contain the virus, help us build back better than ever and make sure everyone is included.
Joe Biden: (03:08)
Now today, I’m really pleased to add members to my team that will get the job done. In addition to the pandemic’s grim milestone the economic crisis has left millions of Americans out of work, without a paycheck, without health insurance. Unable to put enough food on the table, literally unable to put food on the table, and unsure whether they can pay their rent when the new year begins, or make their mortgage payments. It’s affecting everyone from farmers to students, seniors to veterans, in red states, blue states, small towns and big cities.
Joe Biden: (03:44)
And that’s why the Congress needs to act and act now on the COVID package. I spoke to my two friends who are still in the Congress, the vice-president and the soon to be secretary have heard. We have to get this done, they’re pushing hard. But it doesn’t look so good right now, but it has to get done before they go home. Millions and millions of Americans simply can’t wait any longer. We shouldn’t, we can’t get bogged down in issues that don’t help people. State and local governments need help. Not only that, as I said for months we need to protect essential personnel like law enforcement, firefighters, to make sure everything is in place and effectively distribute with the vaccine so that we can do that. This relief package won’t be at the total answer even if it gets passed but it’s an important first step. There’s so much we have to do.
Joe Biden: (04:38)
These crises have ripped the blinders right off the systemic racism that exists in America, the American people now can see clearly. Black, Latino, Native American are nearly three times more are likely to die from COVID and more likely to get COVID to begin with. Black and Latino unemployment rates too large, too high. Communities of color are left to ask whether they’ll ever be able to break the cycle where in good times they like, in bad times they’re hit first and the hardest and in recovery they take the longest to bounce back.
Joe Biden: (05:13)
vice president-elect Harris and I knew we have our work cut out for us when we got elected but we also knew we could build a team that would meet this unique and challenging moment in American history. Some are familiar faces, some are new in their roles. All are facing new circumstances and challenges. That’s a good thing. They bring deep experience and bold new thinking. Above all, they know how government should and can work for all Americans.
Joe Biden: (05:47)
For Secretary of Agriculture I nominate Tom Vilsack, an outstanding two-term governor of Iowa. The best secretary of agriculture I believe this has ever had. He was there when the great recession was pummeling rural America. Over eight years he oversaw a record-breaking investment to bring us back. He implemented the Recovery Act to help rural communities recover and rebuild. Tom helped expand markets around the world for American farmers. He improved our food safety standards and helped millions of children and families receive healthy meals.
Joe Biden: (06:25)
He wasn’t anxious to come back, he wasn’t looking for this job but I was persistent. And I asked him to serve again in this role because he knows the USDA inside and out, he knows the government inside and out. We need that experience now. One in six Americans and a quarter, a quarter of the children in America are facing hungry. The opioid crisis in rural America is a rural America crisis, as is the climate crisis with droughts, floods, wiping out crops in small towns. Farmers and small businesses in small towns, rural communities, white, black, Latino are reeling from the pandemic and economic downturn.
Joe Biden: (07:12)
Tom knows the full range of resources available to this department to get immediate relief to those most in need and address the crises, not one, the crises facing rural America. He knows how to build back better for all Americans. He helped develop my rural plan for America in the campaign and he now has the dubious distinction of having to carry it out. It’s a good plan. That includes making American agriculture the first in the world to achieve net zero emissions and create new sources of income for farmers in the process by paying farmers to put their land in conservation, plant cover crops that use the soil to capture carbon. And he will ensure that USDA promotes true racial equality and inclusion. He recognizes the history of discrimination and will root it out wherever it exists. I’ve known Tom for a long time and I’m confident he’ll get it done.
Joe Biden: (08:11)
For Secretary of Housing and Urban Development I am really pleased to nominate Congressman Marcia Fudge. I might add you could do many jobs beyond the one I’m asking you to do but I think the job I’m asking you to do Congresswoman is critically important to everything that the vice president and I believe is how we’re going to build back better. As a former mayor she understands how to manage challenges and forge solutions at a local level. For 12 years in Congress she’s represented the great City of Cleveland. Though I think of her most significant political feat was being elected President of Deltas. I know from this day how powerful the Deltas are. You think I’m kidding, I’m not.
Joe Biden: (09:02)
She developed an entire career for fighting for working people on issues from affordable housing to urban revitalization. During the great recession, her district was hit hard by the housing crisis. She spent the past decade working to improve blighted neighborhoods, create safer, more affordable communities. She also understands where you live impacts on your health, access to education, jobs, and economic opportunity. Zip code should not determine the outcomes on all those issues. She’s going to bring that same vision as HUD Secretary using every lever at her disposal to help the millions of Americans facing evictions, trying to pay for their mortgages, to find their way through this crisis.
Joe Biden: (09:49)
And I think you’ll see that she’s going to lead our charge to make housing more affordable and accessible. She worked to increase home ownership as a means towards wealth generation. Particularly for communities of color it’s not just dealing with the other issues, we have to be able to build wealth in communities of color. And she’s also going to help us build back better by working across the ideological spectrum to fulfill the promise of HUD’s mission.
Joe Biden: (10:20)
And here’s what its mission is, it’s often forgotten, “To create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality, affordable homes for all.” Marcia will be the first woman to lead HUD for more than 40 years and just the second black woman ever. I’m honored to have her serve and thank her for being willing to do it in the Biden-Harris administration at this critical moment in our nation’s history.
Joe Biden: (10:49)
And for Secretary of Veteran Affairs I nominate Denis McDonough, former White House Chief of Staff, Deputy National Security Advisor, deep experience on Capitol Hill. I’ve known Dennis for a long time. He shares my belief that we have many obligations as a nation. We have only one truly sacred obligation, to prepare and equip our troops that we send into harm’s way and then to care for them and their families when they return. He regularly traveled as I did to Iraq and Afghanistan to meet directly with our service members, to see what they were going through, to understand the strain and the impact on them and their families.
Joe Biden: (11:34)
He visits them as I did often at Walter Reed to see firsthand the visible and invisible wounds they brought home. He knows the cost of war on veterans and their families. From the toll on their physical and mental health, to the access to good-paying jobs. And he’s a fierce advocate and a relentless workhorse and I believe and I think everyone who has ever worked with him knows he’s a world-class manager with an…
Joe Biden: (12:03)
I think everyone who’s ever worked with him knows he’s a world-class manager with an innate understanding for how government can and must work for our veterans. He worked closely with our then VA secretary, Bob McDonald, and with the Congress to increase VA funding to ensure veterans get the benefits they earned and they deserve. And by the way, he knows, we have a very, very steep hill to climb in getting more funding, more docs, more psychiatric nurses, more folks out of the private sector into, into the VA. That includes implementing Veterans Choice, a bill led by my friend, Bernie Sanders, and my late friend and American hero, John McCain, and signed into law by President Obama in 2014 to help veterans access quality healthcare that they need when they need it. And this role, I’ve given Dennis a clear mission, fight like hell. Fight like hell for our veterans and their families.
Joe Biden: (13:04)
And anyone who has worked with Dennis will tell you, he’ll move heaven and earth to fix any problem, to get the job done. He’ll also work closely with our secretary of defense designated, Lloyd Austin, and the entire cabinet and Jill as first lady to pull every lever to help us build back the VA better than ever. And Dennis, it’s a family endeavor. His wife, Carrie, leads a nonprofit that helps connect veterans and military families with local communities so they can help each other out and build a stronger country together. Both our spouses feel incredibly strongly about this and have for some time. To all the veterans and military families, nominating a VA secretary is one of the most important decisions I believe a president can make, and Dennis will always be there for you, I promise you, always fighting for you, as will the vice-president and I.
Joe Biden: (14:07)
For the United States Trade Representative, I’ve nominated Katherine Thai, a trusted trade expert, a dedicated public servant who knows government and who’s spent her career leveling the playing field for American workers and their families. That’s not hyperbole, that’s a fact. She currently serves as the chief lawyer on trade for the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. She earned praise for both lawmakers and both political parties and from both labor and business as well. Now that’s a feat across the board, but all kidding aside, you have. I’ve gotten more calls complimented me on your appointment than you can imagine. During the Obama-Biden administration, she was the chief trade enforcer against unfair trade practices by China, which will be a key priority in the Biden-Harris administration.
Joe Biden: (14:59)
She understands that we need to be considerably more strategic than we’ve been in how we trade and that makes us all stronger, how we’re made stronger by trade. One that leaves nobody behind. She’s going to work closely with my economic and national security and foreign policy teams. Trade will be a critical pillar in our ability to build back better and carry out our foreign policy, foreign policy for the middle class. When I announced my candidacy, I talked about a foreign policy for the middle class, and I meant that in the literal sense. She also brings a sophisticated understanding of the threats of climate change to trade as well as addresses the climate crisis with urgency. She also embodies a powerful immigration story of America. Her parents were both born in China. They moved to Taiwan and then came to the United States where Katherine was born.
Joe Biden: (15:59)
Her parents became government scientists at Walter Reed and NIH, inspiring their daughter to pursue a career in public service. Katherine says she’s the first American born member of her family and a second generation US government servant. That’s a great way of expressing it. If confirmed, she’d be the first Asian American and the first woman of color to serve in this position. In our nation, our economy, our workers, our businesses, we are fortunate to have her serve in this role. As director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, I spent some time convincing this wonderful public servant, but I’m appointing Susan Rice, former United States ambassador to the United Nations, former national security advisor to President Obama, former cabinet member, team player, policy heavyweight, tough negotiator, and trusted and tested public servant, who I’ve known for a long time and not only admired, but become friends with.
Joe Biden: (17:06)
She’ll lead and coordinate my critical domestic policy agenda and she’s going to elevate and turbocharge, revitalize domestic policy council to help us build back better on every issue across the board. She worked closely with my director of National Economic Council, Brian Deese. She worked closely with my national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, and the national security council. Together, they’ll align domestic policy, economic policy and national security unlike ever before. This is a big and critical role, that’s why I asked Susan to serve. She’s been there. She knows what it takes like she did in helping mobilize the entire federal government to end the Ebola crisis, and her voice is particularly needed this critical moment. A granddaughter of immigrants, a descendant of enslaved people, Susan will be an effective and tireless champion for all Americans. And she knows I’m really thrilled she was willing to come back, be at my side in the White House.
Joe Biden: (18:12)
To each of you on this team, you have my gratitude, the gratitude of the vice-president and me for answering the call to serve again. To your families, thank you. We know the sacrifice you’re making to allow your family member to serve as they are going to, God willing. And to career civil servants at these agencies, we look forward to working with you because we know how many talented people are there. It’s time to rededicate ourselves to the mission our government agencies were entrusted with. And to the American people, help is on the way. I promise we’re not going to let you down now. May God bless you and may God protect our troops. Now I’m going to turn this over to the team, starting with our next Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. Tom, thank you. The podium is yours. I guess they’re going to clean it up [inaudible 00:19:09].
Tom Vilsack: (19:33)
Mr. President-elect, Madam Vice President-elect, I’m honored by the trust that you’ve placed in me to return to the vital work of the USDA at a very critical moment for so many families and communities throughout America. And to begin that work by embracing the full benefits of a diverse and inclusive senior leadership team in the department, as I was proud to do in my previous tenure. And to continue the important work of rooting out inequities and systemic racism in the systems we govern and the programs we lead. When Abraham Lincoln established the Department of Agriculture, he called it the people’s department. I look forward to making good on that moniker for all people as we build back better. I happen to be celebrating a birthday on Sunday, one of those round numbers that causes you to reflect on your life.
Tom Vilsack: (20:40)
Thinking back on the path of my life where it began in an orphanage in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Iowa, where my incredible wife, Christie and I raised our family and the home we’ve made there, to standing here today, being given a chance to serve our country once again. I feel enormously lucky and grateful to live in a country where pasts like mine are possible. A country, as the president-elect often says, is defined by possibilities. But unfortunately and tragically, not all have experienced those possibilities. So I consider it my duty and my responsibility to help expand those possibilities for all Americans at the USDA. I know firsthand the character of the dedicated public servants who work hard each and every day to fulfill the mission of that department and I’m especially grateful for the chance to get back to work alongside them.
Tom Vilsack: (21:50)
One of our first charges will need to be to contribute all we can as a department to aid in the pandemic response, reviving rural communities and economies, addressing dire food shortages and getting workers and producers the relief they need to hang on and to come back stronger. When we emerge from this crisis, we’re going to have an incredible opportunity before us to position American agriculture to lead our nation and the world in combating climate change and reaping the new good paying jobs and farm income that will come from that leadership. To make landmark investments in communities throughout rural America, especially those mired in poverty for far too long. By adopting the 10, 20, 30 rule of Congressman Jim Clyburn, it sets aside 10% of federal funding to communities where 20% of people have been caught beneath the poverty line for 30 years or more.
Tom Vilsack: (22:57)
And to ensure that every child in our country and all those who are in need have access to safe, affordable, and nutritious food. We need to build back a vibrant and resilient rural economy that creates new possibilities for manufacturing workers, for family forest owners, for farmers, ranchers and producers, that helps to make life better and richer for them and safer for all of us. And under my watch, the USDA will be a team player working with our sister agencies to advance issues of shared interest from rebuilding our infrastructure, to fixing a broken immigration system, to combating and fighting the opioid crisis. I look forward to pursuing that work on behalf of the American people and especially those who live, work and raise their families in rural America. And I will end by expressing my profound gratitude to the president-elect and vice president-elect for this amazing opportunity to serve. Thank you.
Tom Vilsack: (24:03)
… this amazing opportunity to serve. Thank you.
Speaker 1: (24:24)
Mr. President-elect, my good friend, madam vice president-elect, to my family, my friends, my sorority sisters, my constituents all, I thank you for the opportunity to join this remarkable team and work on behalf of people in every city and community. To serve all those who are struggling and looking for the fair shot we all deserve. When I think about the enormity of the task ahead of us, I am reminded of the book of Matthew, where it is written, “Foxes have holes, birds have nests, but the son of man has no place to lay his head.” There is dignity and there is grace within every woman, every man, and every child in this nation, including those who live on the outskirts of hope, those who work hard but still struggle to make it work and those who have no place to lay their head. It is one of the highest responsibilities of our government to see them, to see their dignity and to lift them up.
Speaker 1: (25:33)
I remember the feeling I had as a kid of the safety, security and peace of mind contained in one word, home. I remember the comfort of knowing that no matter what happened, I could always go home. But far too many Americans live without that feeling. More and more have had that comfort ripped away. The crisis of a pandemic that has threatened their lives. The crisis of a recession that has swallowed up jobs, hours, wages, and lifelines. The crisis of injustice that has forced to communities of color to make it in America with one dream tied behind their back. Each crisis, chips away at their hope, at the promise of our nation. But I believe that hope is on the way because I know that president-elect and vice president-elect are building a team that is grounded in dignity. And our task at the Department of Housing and Urban Development will be to stand up for the dignity of all Americans and deliver the promise of our nation to all those left out in the cold.
Speaker 1: (26:46)
We will take on the deep set roots of poverty and homelessness. We will fight for housing in every community that is affordable, decent, and safe. We will help more Americans the secure dream of home ownership, to close the gaps of inequity, build wealth and pass it onto their children. We will pursue creative development projects to shape our landscapes and skylines, restart the engines of cities that have stalled out and launch new opportunities in hometowns across America. But perhaps most importantly of all, we will help people believe once again, that their government cares about them no matter who they are. That we understand their problems. As the president-elect often recalls his father’s words, I am honored to have this chance to help restore the people’s faith, to deliver for them and make them proud and to build back better alongside this dedicated team. I thank you for the opportunity to serve.
Speaker 2: (28:13)
Mr. President-elect, madam vice president-elect, I’m deeply humbled by the trust and confidence you have placed in me. And if confirmed by the Senate, will be honored to serve as the secretary of Veterans Affairs. Mr. President-elect, you have pledged to restore the soul of our nation and to unite us as Americans. In this work, there is a mission that can bring every American together, caring for our nation’s veterans and their families. As you have said, this is a sacred obligation, and I know that for you and Dr. Biden, it’s also very deeply personal. I’ve been inspired by that veterans in my life as well. Today, I’m thinking of my grandpa McDonough, a Marine, all the troops I met on my visits to Afghanistan and Iraq and the wounded warriors I spent time with at Walter Reed or showing around the White House.
Speaker 2: (29:12)
I’m thinking of the many vets I’ve had the pleasure to serve with in and out of government who have put the character and training that they developed in uniform to work, to continue serving our country as civilians. I’m also thinking of one of my high school football coaches back in Stillwater, Minnesota, an Iowan, Joe Sam Samuel. He stormed the beaches of Normandy and in home hospice at the end of his life, he and his family were grateful for the compassion of the VA. When he passed, his wife gave me his coaching jacket, one of my most prized possessions. Coach Sam’s jacket reminds me why we’re here. Our men and women in uniform have had our country’s back and when they come home, we need to have their back. As the president-elect has said, his marching order to me is very clear, fight like hell for our veterans. We’re going to fight like hell to give our veterans and their families the healthcare, respect, and dignity they deserve.
Speaker 2: (30:24)
That means helping our veterans build civilian lives of meaning and opportunity, making our VA even more welcoming to all veterans, including our women veterans, veterans of color and LGBTQ veterans. And keeping faith with our incredible military families and caregivers, because we need to have their backs too. To the men and women of the VA, many of you veterans yourselves, you work tirelessly to take care of our veterans and your demanding jobs have been made even more difficult by the pandemic. To you and to the many dedicated vets’ service organizations, who include vets, survivors in their families, I look forward to being your partner, one united team in delivering care and support that’s second to none.
Speaker 2: (31:22)
Finally, taking care of our veterans is not a job for the VA alone. Every federal department and agency has a role to play and I will fight like hell to make that happen. And even though only 1% of Americans wear the uniform, under President Biden, every American will be called upon to embrace our responsibility, to support our veterans and our military families. Mr. President-elect, madam vice president-elect, on behalf of my wife, Carrie and our family, thank you for this opportunity to serve. May God bless our troops, our veterans and their families. And as a nation, may we always give them our very best just as they have done for us. Thanks very much.
Speaker 3: (32:32)
Mr. President-elect, madam vice president-elect, I’m grateful for this opportunity to serve and look forward to working with you, with our partners across the administration and with the bright and dedicated public servants at USTR to deliver for the American people. When the president-elect approached me about taking on this role, two from my past spring to mind. The first was from when I initially joined USTR in 2007. I was filling out paperwork and providing information about my family history. My parents were born in mainland China and grew up in Taiwan. In the 1960s, President Kennedy’s immigration reforms welcomed them to America as graduate students in the sciences. My dad would become a researcher at Walter Reed helping the army advance treatments for afflictions that debilitated American GIs fighting in the Vietnam War. My mom still works at the national institutes of health, developing treatments for opioid addiction.
Speaker 3: (33:41)
They were naturalized in 1979, five years after I was born in Connecticut. And it wasn’t until decades later filling out that paperwork that it occurred to me that I became an American before my parents, the very first American in our family. The second memory that came to mind was from several years later when a colleague and I from USTR went to Geneva to present a case suing China before the World Trade Organization. We sat down at the table. She, whose parents had emigrated from South India and I, whose parents had come from Taiwan and my heart swelled with pride as we raised our placard and stated that we were there to present the case on behalf of the United States of America. Two daughters of immigrants, there to serve, to fight for and to reflect the nation that had opened doors of hope and opportunity to our families. Those memories fill me with gratitude for being an American and for what America is at our best and they remind me of the extraordinary responsibilities that come with the honor as we navigate our relationships with the world. Trade is like any other tool in our domestic or foreign policy. It is not an end in itself. It is a means to create more hope and opportunity for people. And it only succeeds when the humanity and dignity of every American and of all people lie at the heart of our approach. I am proud to join with leaders who instill their policy with purpose and who never lose sight of the humanity and dignity, the opportunity and hope that make trade a force for good in our nation and the world. I am very proud to be an advocate for American workers, to stand up for their ingenuity and their innovation and for America’s interests across the globe. I look forward to harnessing the power of our trade relationships, to help communities lift themselves out of the current crisis. And I am grateful for this chance to serve, fight for-
Katherine Tai: (36:03)
… and I am grateful for this chance to serve, fight for and reflect America on behalf of all of our people once again. Thank you.
Susan Rice: (36:29)
Thank you so much, Mr. President-Elect, Madam Vice President-Elect. I’m honored to join this tremendous team. Today we confront a profoundly connected set of crises: a relentless pandemic, a struggling economy, urgent demands for racial equity and justice, a climate in need of healing, a democracy in need to repair, and a world in need of renewed American leadership. In the 21st century, our foreign economic and domestic imperatives are deeply intertwined.
Susan Rice: (37:12)
Tackling these challenges is personal to me. I am a descendant of immigrants and the enslaved, and service is in our blood. My paternal great-grandfather was born a slave in South Carolina and joined the Union army. He went on to get a college degree, become an AME minister, and he founded the Borden Town School in New Jersey, which for seven decades provided African-Americans with vocational and college preparatory educations. Two generations later, my father Emmett Rice served as a Tuskegee Airman and as a governor of the federal reserve.
Susan Rice: (37:58)
My maternal grandparents came to this country from Jamaica with no education, but working for decades as a janitor and a maid, they saved and they scraped to send all five of their children to college and onto professional success. My mother, Lois Rice, was known as the mother of the Pell Grant program, which has enabled 80 million Americans to reach college, and as she liked to say, “Not bad for a poor colored girl from Portland, Maine.”
Susan Rice: (38:34)
But today, for far too many, the American dream has become an empty promise, a cruel mockery of lives held back by barriers, new and old. That is not good enough for any American. But we know that, throughout our history, Americans have forged opportunity out of crisis. After the Civil War, we ended slavery and enshrined the concept of equal protection under the law. During the Great Depression, we established the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps. After World War II, we enacted the GI bill. In the 1960s, we abolished legal segregation, established full voting rights, and enacted Medicare and Medicaid.
Susan Rice: (39:29)
Now, at the foot of yet another bridge between crisis and opportunity, I’m honored and excited to take on this role. Joe biden and Kamala Harris’ vision for our future is expansive, but achievable. America must finally become a nation where every child, from Akron to Arkansas, from the Bronx to Brownsville, from the Sioux nation to South Central Los Angeles, can dream without limits and make her dreams come true.
Susan Rice: (40:08)
I have no illusions about the difficulty of making that vision real, but we are here to get hard stuff done. Our top priorities will be to help end the pandemic and revitalize the economy so that it delivers for all. To bring dignity and humanity to our broken immigration system, to advance racial equity, justice and civil rights for all. To ensure that healthcare is accessible and affordable, and to educate and train Americans to compete and thrive in the 21st century.
Susan Rice: (40:48)
I profoundly believe that we all rise or fall together. Absolutely all of us. So Mr. President-Elect, Madam Vice President- Elect, I promise you, I will do everything I can to help this country I love to build back better, to make our government deliver for all Americans, and for working families, and to bring the American dream far closer to reality for all. Thank you very much.
Kamala Harris: (41:41)
Good afternoon. Over these past few days and weeks, we have announced members of our administration who will help us meet the unprecedented challenges facing the American people. We have brought together a healthcare team that will help contain this pandemic once and for all, an economic team that will help build an economy that works for working people and all those looking to work, and a national security and foreign policy team that will help keep our nation safe and restore and advance our leadership around the world.
Kamala Harris: (42:21)
Today, we are announcing leaders who will help deliver immediate relief to every corner of our great country, from rural communities to big cities and every place in between. Leaders who will help care for our veterans and their families and advance opportunity for all Americans at this consequential moment in our country. At a time when one in eight households say they didn’t have enough money for food in the past week, we need leaders who understand that no one should go hungry in the United States of America. At a time when one in six renters are behind on rent, we need leaders who will not only help provide relief to all who need it, but help address the affordable housing crisis in America.
Kamala Harris: (43:17)
You know, I was in high school by the time my mother saved up enough money to put down a down payment on a home, and I understand the dignity of home ownership and the importance of making the American dream a reality for everyone. At a time when veterans, including those I’ve represented in California, have been strained by almost two decades of war and economic hardship, we must have leaders who will treat all who have worn our nation’s uniform, and their families, with the dignity and respect they have earned, leaders who will be focused on doing what is in the best interest of the American people, who will negotiate trade deals that are good for workers and good for our economy, who will address the defining challenges of our time, from combating our climate crisis to advancing racial justice.
Kamala Harris: (44:17)
That is what these remarkable Americans will do. I know them well, and some are very dear friends. These leaders have different backgrounds and life’s experience, and they bring to their roles different skills, perspectives and areas of expertise. And they all reflect the very best of our nation. They are all dedicated and compassionate public servants, and all of them are ready to hit the ground running on day one.
Kamala Harris: (44:51)
So Mr. President-Elect, congratulations on these outstanding choices, I look forward to working with each member of the team and the whole team that we are bringing together to meet the urgent challenges facing our nation, and to rebuild our country in a way that lifts up all Americans. Thank you.
Joe Biden: (45:12)
Thank you all.
Speaker 4: (45:18)
President-Elect Biden, how soon do you plan on taking a coronavirus vaccine?
Speaker 5: (45:24)
Did Hunter Biden commit a crime? Have you spoken to your son, Mr. President-Elect?
Joe Biden: (45:29)
Proud of my son.
Speaker 5: (45:34)
[crosstalk 00:45:34] under investigation?
Speaker 6: (45:45)
Okay, guys. Let’s go. [inaudible 00:45:45] go through the side door, back to the back. [crosstalk 00:45:50]