Biden: Recovery Depends On Controlling Pandemic As ‘Very Dark Winter’ Approaches

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden called a conversation with business and labor leaders “encouraging” at a press conference following a Monday (Nov. 16) call, noting that all agreed that they wanted to get the economy back on track.

“We need our workers to be back on the job by getting the virus under control. We’re going into a very dark winter. Things are going to get much tougher before they get easier. And that requires sparing no effort to fight COVID so that we can open our businesses safely, resume our lives and put this pandemic behind us,” Biden said.

Biden said the leaders all agree that effort involves rallying the country behind a national strategy with robust public health measures such as mandatory masking, widely available testing of rapid results, scaled up production of life-saving treatments as well as therapeutics and “safe, equitable and free distribution of the vaccine.”

Biden also noted that it was “great news” that Moderna and Pfizer have each come up with vaccines that have over 90 percent effectiveness.

The development came as the world got news on Nov. 9 that Pfizer and BioNTech had successfully finished Phase 3 trials of a coronavirus vaccine on 43,000 individuals — and achieved a remarkable 90 percent effectiveness rate.

A PYMNTS survey found that over eight in 10 — or 82 percent — of respondents said they were familiar with the Pfizer-BioNTech news.

PYMNTS also learned that of those who are familiar with the news of the vaccine, just as many say they definitely won’t or likely won’t get the vaccine (38.4 percent) as those who indicate they definitely or very likely will (37.9 percent). The remainder were somewhat likely.

In terms of generations, research determined that 40 percent each of Gen Z, millennial and bridge millennial (those born from 1979 to 1988) consumers say they either won’t or likely won’t get the vaccine, 25 percent more than those who indicate they very likely or likely will.

A week after Pfizer’s announcement, American biotech company Moderna announced on Monday (Nov. 16) that its rival vaccine boasts a 94.5 percent efficacy rate.