Durbin: Refreshing & Long Overdue Sight to Have the President Fully Engaged in Addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic

Durbin calls on Congress to support President Biden’s $1.9 trillion rescue package, providing additional relief for our American families and workers

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today praised President Joe Biden for signing several important COVID-19-related executive actions on his first day in office, including instituting a mask mandate for all federal buildings, recommitting to the World Health Organization, and creating an office to coordinate a national response to the pandemic.  Durbin also shared support for the national strategy President Biden is unveiling today in order to fully leverage federal resources in our fight against the coronavirus.  This includes a comprehensive vaccination strategy; restoring trust by leading with experts for public outreach; increasing mask-wearing and access to testing; providing resources and guidance to reopen most K-8 schools in 100 days; using the Defense Production Act and enhanced FEMA reimbursement to address supply gaps and state capacity; and focusing on vulnerable populations, including those in long-term care facilities and communities of color.

“It’s refreshing and a long overdue sight to have the President and White House fully engaged in addressing this pandemic with a focus on science and racial equity.  On his first day yesterday, President Biden signed several important executive actions… today, he is outlining a strong plan to provide a national strategy to liberate us from this threat,” Durbin said.  “We should do everything in our power on both sides of the aisle to give him the resources and the cooperation he needs.” 

During his speech, Durbin also expressed support for President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 rescue package, which he outlined last week. 

“I’m ready to continue pushing for COVID relief.  The job isn’t finished by any means.  We must provide our American families and workers the tools they need to survive in this difficult economic time.  As Chair Yellen said earlier this week, ‘Without further action, we risk a longer, more painful recession now and longer-term scarring of the economy later.’  Let’s do this, America.  Let’s do it together.  Let’s let the spirit of unity that we saw on the West Front of the Capitol yesterday bring us together here in the Senate and the House in a joint effort to help the American people with the resources they need to survive this pandemic and this lengthy financial hardship,” Durbin said.

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.