Trump-Biden transition live updates: Biden urges Congress to pass COVID-19 relief
Taking questions after his remarks on the reeling economy amid the worsening pandemic, Biden shed some light on what his inauguration might look like, distancing himself from the president’s approach of flouting coronavirus guidelines and holding mass gatherings, and teasing a virtual element to the toned-down event.
“There probably will not be a gigantic inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue,” Biden said. “My guess is you’ll see a lot of virtual activity in states all across America engaging even more people than before. But that’s in training now. And I’m not in a position to give you an example of exactly what it will look like.”
Asked if he believes coronavirus vaccines should be mandatory, Biden said no and added that he doesn’t think mask-wearing should be mandatory either but that he’ll use his position to push people toward both.
“I wouldn’t demand it [vaccination] be mandatory, but I would do everything in my power — just like i don’t think masks have to be made mandatory nationwide — I’ll do everything in my power as president of the United States to encourage people to do the right thing and when they do it, demonstrate that it matters,” Biden said.
Biden did say more needs to be done when it comes to vaccine distribution, saying there was “no detailed plan” his team has seen on how to physically get people vaccinated from the Trump administration.
“But there is no detailed plan, that we’ve seen, anyway, as to how you get the vaccine out of a container, into an injection syringe into somebody’s arm. And it’s going to be very difficult for that to be done and it’s a very expensive proposition,” Biden said.
Reiterating that he will call on Americans to commit to wearing a mask for 100 days in his inaugural speech, Biden said he expects if people follow the practice while the vaccine is being distributed they’ll see deaths declining and be encouraged on their own.
“This is not a political issue,” Biden said. “My hope is they’ll be then inclined to say, OK, it’s worth the patriotic duty to go ahead and protect other people.”
Biden has previously said he would mandate masks on federal properties, a point his transition advisers confirmed in a briefing Friday morning.
-ABC News’ Molly Nagle, John Verhovek and Averi Harper