Biden to speak about COVID crisis Tuesday

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What could rattle markets in 2021, even as vaccines are rolling out


President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday was slated to deliver an address on the COVID-19 crisis, with his remarks coming as the coronavirus pandemic has led to more than 336,000 U.S. deaths, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.

The veteran Democratic politician was due to speak at 3:45 p.m. Eastern in Wilmington, Del.

Related: MarketWatch’s Coronavirus Update — WHO says coronavirus pandemic is ‘not the big one’

In a Dec. 8 speech, Biden promised to focus on three goals in his first 100 days in office as he tackles the COVID crisis — “masking, vaccinations, opening schools.”

He said in that speech three weeks ago that he’ll encourage Americans to wear face masks for 100 days as well as require coverings in places where he has that power, such as federal buildings. The president-elect also said he’s aiming to get “at least 100 million COVID vaccine shots into the arms of the American people in the first 100 days,” and he pledged to have “the majority” of schools open by the end of his first 100 days — “if Congress provides the funding we need to protect students, educators and staff, if states and cities put strong public-health measures in place that we all follow.”

See: What Biden’s first 100 days could mean for health care, energy and more key sectors

Also read: Health experts slam delayed COVID vaccine rollout in U.S.

Ahead of Biden’s address on Tuesday afternoon, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received her first dose of Moderna’s
MRNA,
+1.63%

COVID vaccine on live TV and encouraged Americans to get their shots when it’s their turn. The U.S. so far has vaccinated 2.1 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Biden gave a speech on Monday that focused on national security. He said political appointees in the Defense Department and other agencies have engaged in “obstruction” as his transition team seeks information about ongoing planning.

U.S. stocks
SPX,
-0.03%

DJIA,
-0.05%

COMP,
-0.23%

were trading lower on Tuesday, a day after the main indexes closed at records following President Donald Trump’s decision to give in and sign a bipartisan aid bill into law.





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