Joe Biden Calls on Americans to 'Step Up,' Wear a Mask and Social Distance as COVID Spikes

  • 2020-11-19
  • 967

As the U.S. continues to set grim records for COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, President-elect Joe Biden told Americans to "step up and do their part" to get the virus under control.

"I renew my call for every American, regardless of where they live or who they voted for, to step up and do their part on social distancing, hand washing, and mask wearing to protect themselves and to protect others," said Biden in a Friday statement.

"I understand it's not easy. I know people are tired. But this will not go on forever," he continued. "We are moving toward a vaccine. We are improving our ability to test. We are developing better treatments."

"But right now is a moment for shared responsibility and shared action [...] And I promise you, from the moment I am sworn in on January 20, I will do everything in my power to lead this unified national effort."

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
President-elect Joe Biden speaks to the media while flanked by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on November 9 in Wilmington, Delaware.JOE RAEDLE/GETTY

His statement comes a day after the U.S. shattered another daily record in reporting more than 153,000 new COVID cases on Thursday and over 66,000 hospitalizations nationwide, according to data from Johns Hopkins. As of Friday, there are over 10 million cases and more than 243,000 deaths in the U.S. linked to coronavirus.

California and Texas both hit 1 million total cases each since the start of the pandemic, while Thursday marked the seventh of nine days that the number of infections reached new records. While hospitalization numbers soared in most states, the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) projected that nearly 2,000 people could die of COVID-19 every day by the end of December.

Several states are putting restrictions on social gatherings, travel and hours of operation for businesses to help limit the rapid spread of COVID-19 this fall. According to a list by AARP, 34 states (as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) require people to wear face coverings in public—with Utah recently joining the ranks and Ohio reissuing its mandate.

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