One pandemic, two presidents: A split-screen moment underscores the clashing approaches of Trump and Biden.

The present president hailed a “monumental nationwide achievement.” His successor grimly described a “mass casualty” occasion.

The remarks in regards to the coronavirus pandemic by President Trump and President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Tuesday provided a hanging, split-screen second, underscoring how in another way the 2 males are approaching the worst public well being disaster in 100 years that has taken a very devastating toll on people of color.

Talking in Wilmington, Del., as he introduced the people who will lead his health care agencies, Mr. Biden painted a grim image of the infections ravaging the nation whilst he vowed to get “a minimum of 100 million Covid vaccine photographs into the arms of the American folks” throughout his first 100 days in workplace.

He pledged to run “essentially the most environment friendly mass vaccination plan in U.S. historical past” however didn’t say how and thru what corporations his administration would buy vaccine photographs. Mr. Biden additionally implored People to put on masks throughout his first 100 days in workplace and stated he would make doing so a requirement in federal buildings and on planes, trains and buses that cross state strains.

“My first 100 days received’t finish the Covid-19 virus — I can’t promise that,” Mr. Biden, talking at a digital occasion in an virtually empty room, stated. However he added, “I’m completely satisfied we will change course.”

The senior officers Mr. Biden will appoint — together with Xavier Becerra, a former congressman who’s now the California legal professional normal, as his nominee for secretary of health and human services — will face the quick problem of slowing the unfold of the coronavirus, which has already killed more than 285,000 people in the United States and has taken a very devastating toll on people of color.

Different well being officers included within the occasion had been Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, who will lead a Covid-19 fairness job power, and Jeffrey D. Zients, the incoming coordinator of the Covid-19 response.

It was a way more upbeat message at an auditorium close to the White Home, the place Mr. Trump packed business officers and members of his administration — most of them carrying masks — for a “vaccine summit” to have a good time the anticipated approval of a vaccine by the Meals and Drug Administration this week.

The dueling scenes got here as Britain began vaccinating people in the wake of that country’s approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — the identical one on the verge of approval in the USA. In Britain, scenes of individuals receiving the primary doses of the vaccine dominated tv protection providing a bit of fine information within the battle towards the virus.

Requested why he had not included members of Mr. Biden’s transition crew within the summit to make sure clean supply of the vaccine by the following administration, Mr. Trump once more complained, with out proof, that individuals had tried to “steal” the election and stated he hoped the following administration can be “the Trump administration.”

Mr. Trump, who entered to a recording of “Hail to the Chief” and stood in entrance of a backdrop with American flags, claimed credit score for the vaccine, thanking his White Home workers and advisers — although he pointedly excluded Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s main infectious illness specialist, who has been tapped by Mr. Biden to be his chief medical adviser and appeared remotely on the president-elect’s occasion.

Mr. Trump barely talked about the surge in instances and deaths throughout the nation in current weeks, solely repeating his longstanding — and false — assertion that the USA solely has extra instances as a result of it does extra testing. The country has shattered record after record because it approaches 300,000 deaths and surpassed 15 million identified instances amid a brutal and accelerating surge. As of Monday, the nation recorded essentially the most virus-related deaths over a weeklong interval — about 2,200 every day — and a median of greater than 201,000 instances a day.

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