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“God knows how bad it would be if he had not taken the actions that he has taken,” Pelosi said Thursday at her weekly news conference at the Capitol.
When Biden took office in January 2021, the number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States was about 400,000 under President Trump. Biden campaigned on beating COVID-19 and Pelosi reiterated the goal was to “crush the virus.”
In the 16 months since Democrats have controlled the White House and Congress, an additional 600,000 some people died in the United States from COVID-19. Later Thursday, Pelosi will lead a moment of silence on the steps of the Capitol with House and Senate members to mark the tragic 1 million death toll count.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Asked by Fox News Digital Thursday whether Democrats could have done anything else to prevent the death toll, Pelosi said she’s “proud” of how Biden has handled the crisis.
“I want to salute President Biden for what he has done in the fight against COVID,” Pelosi said. “[He] made a drastic difference from the denial that our country was in before and the lack of attention that was given to it.
“[The] president is paying attention to science, science and science and the governance necessary to deal with it. I’m very proud of what he has done.”
In the early weeks of Biden’s presidency, Democrats swiftly moved to pass the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan which was designed to fight coronavirus and rebuild the economy.
U.S President Joe Biden gives remarks at a Black History Month celebration event in the East Room of the White House on February 28, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Biden instituted vaccine requirements for the federal workforce, military personnel and other employees — though they have been legally challenged — and he launched a nationwide effort to get 70% of adults vaccinated with at least one dose by July 4, 2021. That goal was met about a month behind schedule. Now, about 83% of Americans age 5 and up are at least partially vaccinated.
Biden and Democrats now want more money to fight coronavirus, as highly contagious variants continue spread. But the funding has been stalled in Congress as Republicans want the package paid for.
President Joe Biden receives a COVID-19 booster shot during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Pelosi reiterated Thursday the need to get more coronavirus money passed and said she wants at least $22.5 billion to address the ongoing threat — beyond the $10 billion that Senate Republicans have suggested.
“The heartbreak continues,” Pelosi said, in sending condolences to the families of the 1 million lives lost. “All the more reason why we must pass the COVID legislation so we can purchase vaccines, provide testing and treatments.”