US President-elect Joe Biden is predicting the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic will only get worse if Congress does not act quickly to pass an aid bill, amid a nationwide spike in the virus that’s hampering the nation’s recovery.
Biden delivered remarks Friday afternoon reacting to November’s national jobs report, which showed a sharp decrease in US hiring even as the nation is about 10 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels. The Democrat called the report “dire” and said it “shows the economy is stalling,” but he said quick action from Congress can halt some of the damage.
“If we act now, I mean now, we can begin to regain momentum and start to build back a better future,” he said. “There’s no time to lose.”
Surging cases of the virus have led states and municipalities to roll back their re-opening plans. And more restrictions may be on the way as colder temperatures and holiday travel lead to new records for confirmed cases and deaths.
“This is a grim jobs report,” Biden said in a statement ahead of his speech. “It shows an economy that is stalling. It confirms we remain in the midst of one of the worst economic and jobs crises in modern history.”
While Biden has thrown his support behind a bipartisan economic relief bill of about $900 billion, he has said much more will be needed once he takes office next year.
“Congress and President Trump must get a deal done for the American people,” Biden said. “But any package passed in the lame-duck session is not enough. It’s just the start.”