Good afternoon. Today, I am very proud to be announcing our healthcare and COVID team at a critical time as we near the end of one of the toughest years we faced as a nation. More than 285,000 dead Americans because of COVID-19 and counting. Last week COVID-19 was the number one cause of death in America. For black, Latino, and Native Americans are nearly three times as likely to die from it. COVID-19 is a mass casualty. For families and friends left behind, it is a gaping hole in your heart that will never be fully healed. As a country, we have been living with this pandemic for so long we are at risk of becoming numb to its toll on all of us. You know we are resigned to feel that there is nothing we can do, and we can't trust one another, that we must accept death, pain, and sorrow. We are in the midst of this deadly pandemic that has infected almost 15 million Americans, one out of every 22 people in our country, often with devastating consequences to their health. And at this very moment, what is the outgoing administration asking the Supreme Court to do in the United States Supreme Court? To repeal the entirety of the Affordable Care Act when we need it the most, a law that is on the front lines against the pandemic protects more than 100 million Americans who live with pre-existing conditions, which will increase now, including those with lung scarring and heart damage as a consequence of COVID-19. It provides coverage for more than 20 million Americans who get the care they need if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19. The law that fulfills our moral obligation here in America healthcare is a right for all, not a privilege for a few, but as all of you know, I know that out of our collective pain, we are going to find collective purpose to control the pandemic, to save lives and to heal as a nation. Today I am pleased to announce a team that is going to do just that. It is a team of world-class experts at the top of their fields, crisis tested, defined by a deep sense of duty, honor, and patriotism. Already ready to jump in. They have been advising me many of them for a long time, and they are going to be ready on day one to spare not a single effort to get this pandemic under control so we can get back to work, get back to our lives, get back to our loved ones. They will lead the COVID-19 response across the government to accelerate testing, fix our supply chain, and distribute the vaccine. They will work with my economic team because controlling the pandemic, delivering better health care, and reviving the economy go hand in hand. They will work with my foreign policy and national security teams because we can't only beat the virus here at home, it must be beaten everywhere, or it comes back to haunt us again. Today, I am announcing that in consultation with Dr. Tony Fauci, we developed the first three objectives of the new initiative that I am asking this team to complete once I am sworn in in our first 100 days in office. My first 100 days won't end the COVID-19 virus. I can't promise that but -- but we did not get into this mess quickly, we are not going to get out of it quickly. It is going to take some time, but I am absolutely convinced that in 100 days, we can change the course of the disease and change life in America for the better. First, my first 100 days is going to require -- I'm going to ask for a masking plan, everyone for the first 100 days of my administration to wear a mask. It will start with my signing an order on day one to require masks where I can under the law, like federal buildings, interstate travel on planes, trains, and buses. I will also be working with the governors and mayors to do the same in their states and their cities. We are going to require mask wherever possible, but this goes beyond government action, and so as a new president, I'm going to speak directly to the American people and say what I am saying now. We need your help. Wear a mask for just 100 days. It's the easiest thing you can do to reduce COVID cases, hospitalizations, and death. Help yourself, your family, and your community. Whatever your politics or point of view, mask up for 100 days once we take office. 100 days to make a difference. It's not a political statement. It's a patriotic act. It won't be the end of our efforts, but it's a necessary and easy beginning and easy start. Secondly, this team, this team will help get at the latest at the last 100 million COVID-19 vaccines at least 100 million COVID vaccine shots into the arms of the American people in the first 100 days, 100 million shots in the first 100 days, and we will follow the guidance of science to get the vaccines to those most at risk. That includes healthcare professionals, people, and long-term care, and as soon as possible, it will include educators. This will be the most efficient mass vaccination plan in U.S. history. I credit everyone who has gotten up -- who has gotten us up to this point but developing a vaccine is only one Herculean task; distributing it is another Herculean task. You know in vaccines in a vial only work if they are injected into an arm of people, especially those most at risk. This will be one of the hardest and most costly operational challenges in our nation's history. We are going to need Congress to fully fund vaccine distribution to all corners of the contrary, to everyone. I am encouraged by the bipartisan efforts in Congress around a $900 billion economic relief package, which I have said is critical, but this package is only a start for more action early next year. We must also focus significant resources on direct public health response to COVID-19. Our preliminary view of Trump administration's vaccine distribution plans confirms media reports. Without urgent action by this Congress this month to put sufficient resources into vaccine distribution and manufacturing, which the bipartisan group is working on, there's a real chance that after an early round of vaccinations, the effort will slow and install. Let me repeat, we need Congress to finish the bipartisan work underway now, or millions of Americans may wait months longer to get the vaccine. Months longer than they otherwise would have to get -- wait to get the vaccine -- vaccination. Look, and then we are going to need additional action next year to fund the rest of the distribution efforts. We also need the Trump administration to act now, though, to purchase the doses it has negotiated with Pfizer and Moderna and to work swiftly to scale manufacturing to U.S. populations in the world. This can be fixed. If it does, if it is fixed, my team will be able to get at least 100 million vaccinations done in my first 100 days. The third thing I'm going to ask in the 100 days it should be a national priority to get our kids back into school and keep them in school. 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 will follow, then my team will work to say that a majority of hours schools can be opened by the end of my first 100 days. That's right. We will look to have the most schools open that we can possibly in 100 days if Congress provides the funding we need. It's not a secret how to do it. Masking, vaccination, opening schools. These are the three key goals for my first 100 days, but we'll still have much to do in the year ahead and, sadly, much difficulty as well. We'll be far, far from done, yet it's possible that after 100 days we'll be much further along in the fight against this pandemic. And I'm grateful to the members of my COVID-19 that I'd like to introduce to you now that will lead the way. I'm really proud of this group. For Secretary of Health and Education Services, I nominate Xavier Bacaria . You know, Xavier -- Becerra, excuse me. He currently is the attorney general of California, leading the second largest Justice Department in America, only behind the United States Department of Justice. And for nearly 25 years before that, he was a congressman representing Los Angeles, one of the largest -- America's largest and most diverse cities. Xavier spent a career finding to expand access to healthcare, reducing racial health disparities, protecting the Affordable Care Act , and take on powerful special interests who prey on -- profit off of people's health from opioid manufacturers to big tobacco. During this pandemic, to protect the safety of the front-line healthcare workers, he rooted out the fraud from the bad actors who take advantage of people. And he stood up for homeowners trying to pay their mortgages during this devastating economic crisis. They're the things he's already fought for and accomplished, in many cases. And as secretary -- HHS secretary, he will skillfully oversee the CDC and the FDA, Medicare and Medicaid. No matter what happens in the Supreme Court, he'll lead our efforts to build on the Affordable Care Act. He'll work to dramatically expand coverage and take bold steps to lower healthcare prescription drug costs. Xavier is a key leader who'll lead a -- a key agency charged with protecting the health and wellness of the American people. He's also the first Latino leading HHS, the son of a working family class -- working-class immigrant family that came from Mexico, a true public servant who is dedicated his career in the service of the people, in the service of this country that we all love. To serve as coordinator of the COVID-19 response team, I'm turning to a world-class manager and leader. I've known Jeff for a long time, from the first and last days of the Obama and Biden White House and throughout the campaign and other transition. There's no one else that you'd want to help you manage some of the most consequential and complex priorities of the country. Director of National Economic Council for President Obama, acting director for the Office of Management and Budget, he's there -- was there during the great recession as we went from crisis to recovery to resurgence in eight years. He was there lead the team and help implement the Affordable Care Act and get healthcare.gov up and working at a critical moment. That was a monumental feat that required vision, patience, experience, fortitude, and real expertise. Well-respected across the aisle and around the country from business to labor leaders to entrepreneurs to educators, chairman of the board of Children's National Medical Center, one of the world's top children's hospitals, Jeff knows how to build and lead a team, how to identify and solve problems, and how to fully mobilize the federal government on behalf of the health, safety, and prosperity of the American people. Jeff Zients, thank you for being willing to do this. As surgeon general of the United States, I nominate a man who could do any of these jobs, I think, but Dr. Vivek Murthy. You worked with me for a long time. He's a renowned physician and research scientists, a trusted national leader on healthcare and, for me, a trusted advisor during the campaign and transition. This'll be the second time serving as America's doctor, having served in this role under President Obama. During his tenure, he took on some of the most pressing public health issues we face -- excuse me -- from the opioid crisis to threats to America's mental health. I have asked Dr. Murthy to serve again as surgeon general, but with expanded responsibilities. He will be a key public voice and the COVID response to restore public trust and faith in science and medicine. One of the reasons, Doc, I asked you to do this. When you speak, people listen. They trust you. You have a way of communicating. They can to see it in your eyes. I mean that sincerely. It's a really, really important thing to be communicated now when people are in so much doubt, but also be a key advisor to me and help lead an all government approach to broader public health issues. We've talked a lot about the need to vastly increase a focus on mental health of the country, addiction and substance use disorders, social and environmental detriments to health, and much more. So, I'm really looking forward and I thank you for doing this. Above all, I believe -- I believe as well as any person I've ever worked with, Vivek can help restore faith in this country as a place of possibilities. The son of Indian immigrants who raised their children to always believe in the promise of America, Dr. Murthy will be one of my most trusted public health and medical advisors, and I'm grateful. I mean it sincerely, Vivek. I'm grateful for your willingness to continue to stay in public service. And for director of the Center for Disease Control, the CDC, and Prevention, I might add, I appoint Rochelle Walensky. She is the chief infectious disease -- she's chief of infectious disease at one of the country's most preeminent hospitals, Massachusetts General in Boston, a distinguished professor at Harvard Medical School, and a world-class physician, one of the nation's foremost experts on testing, treatment, and eradication of viruses. She has served on the -- on the front lines of the COVID crisis. She's conducted groundbreaking research on vaccine delivery, including how to reach underserved communities that are too often it first, hardest, and treated last. Dr. Walensky's work was instrumental in helping the world mitigate the public health crisis of HIV/AIDS. It inspired her as a young doctor to pursue her pioneering research and virus containment. Now she'll bring her expertise to bear against COVID-19. She's uniquely qualified to restore morale and public trust. She'll marshal our finest scientists and public health experts at CDC to turn the tide on this urgent crisis we're facing today. Because of the pandemic's disproportionate impact on communities of color, I concluded that I wanted, we needed a COVID-19 equity task force. To chair that -- to chair it, I appoint Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, one of the country's foremost experts on healthcare disparities. Associate professor of medicine and public health and management at Yale's School of Medicine, founding director of Yale's Equity Research and Innovation Center, and co-chair of my COVID-19 transition advisory board, Dr. Nunez-Smith will lead our efforts to provide care to the communities most in need and most affected by the pandemic and often overlooked. She'll ensure that fairness and equity are at the center of every part of our response. This is a central front in our fight against this pandemic, and I'm grateful Dr. Nunez-Smith will lead this charge. And finally, as both head of my National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and my chief medical advisor on COVID-19, I'm pleased to say that Dr. Tony Fauci will be a member of my COVID-19. By now, Tony need -- Dr. Fauci needs no introduction, but he'll have my gratitude when I'm president, the 7th president he will have served. We know each other and we've known each other for a long time. And I'm so grateful, when I called him almost before I asked, he said yes. I've seen him take on HIV/AIDS, H1N1, Ebola, Zika, COVID-19, and every infection -- infectious disease in between over his nearly 40 years of service to our country. Dr. Fauci is trusted, a truth teller, patriot. Like every good doctor, he'll tell me what I need to know, not what I want to know; what I need to know, not what I want to know. This is my core COVID healthcare team. Before January 20th, we'll be adding more leaders to oversee vaccine distribution, the supply chain, testing, and other key functions. To each of you on this team, you have my gratitude. And I mean that, you have my gratitude for answering the call to serve. And to your families, I know many of you are making real sacrifices to do this, thank you. And to your families, I say thank you directly. We couldn't do this without them or without you, the family, supporting this. And to the American people, I know we've all had a lot of sleepless nights this year. So many of you staring at the ceiling tonight wondering, my God, what happens, what happens if it strikes my family? What happens if I lose my insurance? What happens? Am I going to be okay? Is my family going to be okay? All I can tell you is the truth. We are in a very dark winter. Things may well get worse before they get better. A vaccine may soon be available. We need to level with one another. It will take longer than we would like to distributed to all corners of the country, depending on how it gets started off between now and the time I am sworn in. We need to persuade enough Americans to take the vaccine. Many of them have become very cynical about its usefulness. It is daunting, but I promise you that we will make progress starting on day one. We didn't get into this mess quickly. It's going to take time to fix. We can do this. That's the truth I'm telling you the truth is what this team Vice President Kamala Harris and I will always do, give it to you straight from the shoulder as Roosevelt used to say. This is the toughest challenge America has ever faced, one of the toughest. We know that we can overcome and heal together as one nation. To all of you on the front lines, the health care professionals, first responders, grocery store workers, delivery truck drivers, educators, parents, our children, I say thank you. We can do this. We can do this. I want to thank you for everything you have done to get us through this crisis so far, and we are never going to give up on you, I promise you. And we will never give up on our country. We can do this. There is nothing we have ever failed to do when we have decided to do it together, together as America. So all of those that have lost in this pandemic, all of those that are sick and suffering, our hearts go out to you. Many of us know what it's like. May God bless you all, and may God protect our troops. Thank you for listening. Now I would like to turn it over to the team starting with our next Secretary of Health and Human Service Xavier Becerra and Xavier, thank you for being willing to take on the responsibility. Along with Carolina, my wife, and Natalia, Olivia, Clarisa, and Yvonne , greetings from California. Mr. President-elect, Madam Vice President-elect, I am honored and excited to join your team. The mission of the Department of Health and Human Services has never been as vital or as urgent as it is today. The COVID pandemic and its economic fallout have thrust families into crisis. Too many Americans are sick or have lost loved ones. Too many have lost their jobs and with that their health care and hope. You have made it clear, Mr. President-elect, that to build back a prosperous America, we need a healthy America that then will be job one for your team at HHS. 55 years ago, during another time of hardship, former health secretary and fellow Californian John Gardner said what we have before us are some breathtaking opportunities disguised as insoluble problems. Gardner went on to help President Lyndon Johnson build the Great Society ushering in Medicare, Medicaid, and civil rights that brought greater equity, greater opportunity, and greater hope to all Americans. Now it is our turn to discover the breathtaking opportunities before us in the midst of this hardship and pain. It is our turn to build up and to back up our doctors and medical professionals, our hospitals and clinics battling the coronavirus, our turn to restore faith and confidence in our leaders to deliver solutions that unite and heal us and inoculate us from fear, our turn to spur our brightest minds to launch the next generation of innovative medicines and cures and it is our turn to build a nation where as the president-elect so often says healthcare is a right, not a privilege. At HHS tackling pandemics, saving lives, keeping us healthy should be our calling card, and we won't forget that there is a second H in HHS, the human services, the work we do for our children, seniors, and disabled. They will stand tall in a Biden Harris HHS. Almost a year ago, on New Year's Day, my father Manuel passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family. We got to celebrate Christmas together, and when the end came, my dad knew we were there with him. No one -- no one should ever have to die alone in a hospital bed, loved ones forced to stay away. That seems so contrary to the values of a great nation, the values that drew my parents like generations before and after them to come to America. Manuel and Maria Teresa had only their health and hope when they arrived in California, a road construction worker with a sixth-grade education and a clerical worker who arrived in her teens from Guadalajara Mexico. As they helped build a better California, they built a pretty good partnership that lasted 67 years, and while they never got to experience the inside of a college, they did send their four kids there as well as to the military. Now President-elect Biden has offered me a breathtaking opportunity to work with his team to shape our healthcare future. I share the president-elect and vice president-elect's determination to rebuild unity and civility in America. We know it takes hard work. We know we must do it together. We know it will be key to building critical momentum and support for the prevention and treatment of the coronavirus. Those values and priorities will help us emerge from this pandemic a stronger, more just, and more equitable nation. Literally, there are millions of small business owners and tens of millions of workers who are counting on us. I am proud to have this chance to implement the president-elect's vision for a better America through the challenging assignments that are in store for the department of health and human services. Mr. President-elect, Madam Vice President-elect, thank you for this opportunity to serve. Mr. President-elect, Madam Vice President-elect, thank you for your trust and your confidence. I bring greetings and thanks also from my grandmother Sarojay , my mother and father Maithreya and Lakshminarasimha Murthy, from my sister Rashmi and brother-in-law Ahmit and from my dear wife Alice, and my dear children [Inaudible] and Shanti. We thank you for this opportunity to serve. When I left my role as surgeon general, I never dreamed I would have the opportunity to serve again, and in this moment of crisis when so many Americans have fallen sick and lost loved ones when people have lost their jobs and are struggling for child care, I feel grateful to be able to do everything I can to end this pandemic. While this is a daunting task, we absolutely have as a country what we need to overcome this virus. We have world-class scientists. We have courageous medical professionals who are risking their lives to care for the ill. We have companies that are on the cusp of delivering vaccines, and most of all, we are blessed with a generous and compassionate people all across America who are stepping up to help those who are struggling. If we work together, we will overcome this pandemic and return to our lives, but COVID-19 is not the only health crisis we face. If anything, it has underscored a host of other epidemics that are devastating families and shortening lifespans, crises like addiction, including the opioid crisis, our aspiring mental health concerns, our glaring racial health disparities, and the high rates of chronic illness that we face like diabetes and heart disease. These challenges are both caused by but also exacerbated by broader societal issues from the economic strain so many people are facing to the disconnection and loneliness that many of us feel. In my new expanded role, I will work to bring a health focus to our policies across government so that our schools, our workplaces, and our communities can be forces for strengthening our health and well-being, but the truth is that the very best policy. And even the best vaccines and treatments will not heal our nation unless we also overcome the fear, anxiety, anger, and distrust that so many Americans are feeling right now. So, more than anything, I will come to this role as a doctor, one to learn the most important lessons about medicine not in medical school but from the clinic that my parents opened when they first came to America as immigrants decades ago. As a child, I saw how they took their time not just to diagnose illnesses but to ask their patients' families about their lives, to pour over pictures of children and grandchildren that were pulled from wallets. They listened deeply to people stories and their struggles, often running well over their appointment time. And they taught me that the best doctor is not an authority figure who writes prescriptions, but rather a partner in healing, someone who sees patients and their fullest humanity and empowers them to take charge of their health. That is the kind of doctor I have always tried to be. And if confirmed, that is the kind of surgeon general that I will strive to be. I will dedicate myself to caring for every American, driven always by science and facts, by head and by heart, and endlessly grateful to serve one of the few countries in the world where the grandson of a poor farmer in India could be asked by the president-elect to look out for the health of an entire nation. That is a testament to the promise of America, one that I will seek to fulfill every day as surgeon general. Thank you so much. And thank you again, Mr. President-elect and Madam Vice President-elect, for this opportunity to serve. Thank you. Mr. President-elect, Madam Vice President-elect, I am honored by the trust you have placed in me to serve the American people during this critical time. I want to thank my amazing husband and are three wonderful sons for answering this call along with me. As all doctors in public servants know, these jobs ask a great deal not only of us but of our families. The pandemic that brought me here today is one that struck America and the world more than 30 years ago, because my medical training happened to coincide with some of the most harrowing years of the HIV/AIDS crisis. As a medical student, I saw firsthand how the virus ravaged bodies and communities. Inside the hospital, I witnessed people lose strength and hope, while outside the hospital I witnessed those same patients, mostly gay men and members of vulnerable communities, be stigmatized and marginalized by their nation and many of its leaders. A scientific breakthrough came in 1995 when the FDA approved the first AIDS cocktail and we saw the first glimmers of hope. I have dedicated my career ever since to researching and treating infectious diseases and to ending the HIV/AIDS crisis for good. Now a new virus is ravaging us. It's striking hardest once again at the most vulnerable, the marginalized, the underserved. Nearly 15 million Americans have been infected. Over 280 million loved ones are gone. The pain is accelerating. Our defenses have worn down. We are losing life and hope at an alarming rate. I never anticipated I would take on a role helping lead our national response, and government service was never part of my plan. But every doctor knows that, when a patient is coding, your plans don't matter. You answer the code. And when the nation is coding, if you are called to serve, you serve. You run to take care of people, to stop the bleeding, to stabilize, to give them hope and a fighting chance to come back stronger. That's what doctors do. I am honored to work with an administration that understands that leading was science is the only way to deliver breakthroughs, to deliver hope, and to bring our nation back to full strength. To the American people and to each and every one of you at the CDC, I promise to work with you to harness the power of American science, to fight this virus and prevent unnecessary illness and deaths so that we can all get back to our lives. Mr. President-elect, Madam Vice President-elect, I thank you for this opportunity. Mr. President-elect, Madam Vice President-elect, thank you so much for this opportunity to serve the American people. I'm proud to go to work with leaders who are deeply committed to science and to centering equity in our response to this pandemic, and not as a secondary concern, not as a box to check, but as a shared value woven into all of the work that we do and prioritized by every member of the Biden/Harris team. I'm enormously thankful to my research team and to my colleagues, to President Salovey and the other leadership here at Yale for supporting me in this work. And I'm grateful to all of the researchers and advocates who blazed the trail, whose work on health equity and racial justice too often went on believed or overlooked across the generations. Most of all, I'm thankful to my family, to Jesse and our three children, for their unwavering support and humor, and to my mother and her mother for modeling kindness, generosity, and courageous leadership through service. I have wanted to be a doctor since I was six years old, and a proud general internal medicine physician today. But as I grew up, I came to understand that there were deeper dimensions to help beyond what I saw in the human biology textbooks that I borrowed from my mother's bookshelf. I grew up on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a place where people too often died too young from preventable conditions. My own father had his first stroke in his 40s and was left paralyzed. I learned there was a term for what we were, an underserved community, marginalized by place and by race. In my medical training, I saw countless patients whose conditions were shaped by factors having nothing to do with science and everything to do with broader social inequity. And now the COVID-19 crisis has laid those inequities bare. It is not a coincidence and it is not a matter of genetics that more than 70 percent of African-Americans and more than 60 percent of Latinx Americans personally know someone who has been hospitalized or died from COVID-19. The same disparities ingrained in our economy, our housing system, our food system, our justice system, and so many other areas of our society have conspired in this moment to create a grief gap that we cannot ignore. It is our societal obligation to ensure equitable access to testing, treatments, and vaccines, equitable support for those who are hurting, and equitable pathways to opportunity as we emerge from this crisis and rebuild, including for those most marginalized communities, the undocumented, the incarcerated, the homeless. I'm grateful for this chance to continue this work, to earn trust, and to find success through genuine partnerships with the people and communities who've been hit the hardest during and before the crisis. On this team, you will be heard, you will be counted, and you will be valued. Thank you. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, thank you so much for asking me to be part of this COVID response team. I hope that you don't mind that our reason that I am sending this video is because a close friend and colleague at the NIH, Dr. Harvey Alter is receiving that Nobel Prize in medicine at the same time and we wanted to attend the ceremony at the NIH to show our support. Such an achievement is a reminder of the incredible public servants we have at the NIH and of America's place as a pioneer in science and medicine. I believe, as you do, that in the fight against this pandemic, we must lead with science and that a key piece of our ongoing work he is communicating consistently with the American people. Whether it's maintaining social distancing and not congregating indoors or the 100 day challenge you described on masking or to get as many people vaccinated as possible, these actions are bold, but they are doable and essential to help the public avoid unnecessary risks to help us save lives, reopen schools and businesses, and to eventually beat the pandemic. I look forward to advising you on these most urgent priorities and to work with this team of world class experts whom I have known for many years and deeply respect. I have been through many public health crises before, but this is the toughest one we have ever faced as a nation. The road ahead will not be easy. We have got a lot of hard and demanding work to do in the next year, but as we have done during previous crises, I also know we can get through this pandemic together as a nation. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of this effort. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, I'm honored by your trust in me and humbled by the task at hand and I am hopeful because of your leadership. As it is for both of you, everything starts with family for me and I am forever grateful for the love and support of my wife, our children, and our parents. Mr. President-elect, we've known each other for a long time and our relationship has been forged under immense pressure. The severity of the Great Recession, the challenge of implementing the Affordable Care Act and the daily decisions a White House makes that affect the lives of millions of Americans. You and President Obama knew how to build the team with the right diversity of backgrounds and views, a team to make progress on difficult situations and capture enormous opportunities. That's what I've tried to do throughout my career. I'm not a doctor or a public health expert. In fact, we've got the best ones in the world on this team. But I do know management and execution and the key part of the role you've asked me to take on is that last part, coordinator. It's about empowering experts, developing a culture of teamwork, and maintaining a focus on strategy and execution. It's knowing that leadership requires expertise, transparency, and prioritization. It also requires trust, truth, and integrity. To the American people, that's what this team will provide. We will utilized the full capacity of the federal government to get this pandemic under control. We'll harness and examine the data to expand testing, to deliver equipment and PPE to those on the front lines, to provide resources for schools and businesses to operate safely, to address the racial disparities and inequities of this pandemic, to rejoin the global fight against COVID-19 because no one is safe until everyone is safe. And with our collective expertise, we will oversee the rollout of the vaccine, which as the president elect said, it will be one of the greatest operational challenges our country has ever faced. And we also will uphold the country pull the country together across governments at the federal, state, and local levels and across the private sector. And as we begin this work, Mr. Vice -- Mr. President-elect, I remember what you told me when we were implementing the Affordable Care Act. Your message was I know this is no small task. I know you and the team are feeling tremendous pressure to succeed and we want and need the team to pull this off. You then said I know you and the team can do this, but I need to promise you promise me one thing, that you will always, always give it to us straight because we have to understand the challenge we are facing. Because most of all, we are in this together and together, we can do this. President-elect Biden, Vice President-elect Harris, and the American people, this team will always give it to you straight. The work ahead will not be easy, but we know what needs to be done and we will get it done together. Thank you. Well, congratulations, Mr. President-elect on nominating and appointing a most outstanding team to get this pandemic under control. And thank you to these accomplished physicians at experts and public servants for answering the call to serve the American people in this critical hour of need. Over Thanksgiving, the president-elect and I called healthcare workers who are on the frontlines of this pandemic just to thank them. We wanted to express our gratitude and our nation's gratitude for everything they have been doing, for every sacrifice they have made. That day, I spoke with two registered nurses, Maureen in Pennsylvania and Talisa and in Illinois. They shared stories that we've all heard. We've all heard the stories about grandmothers and grandfathers loved ones and friends spending their last moments alone. We've all heard about nurses and physicians who are physically and mentally exhausted, trying to keep up with ever increasing caseloads. Those on the frontline who say to each other it's not a matter of when, it's a matter not of when, but when they will get the virus. So it is a matter of when and not if they get the virus. This is what they're saying to each other every day. We've all heard about health care workers without the supplies and equipment they need to care for patients and save lives. So today, we have a message for Talisa, Maureen, and all Americans. Help is on the way and it is long overdue. The scale of this pandemic is heartbreaking. As you know and have heard, almost 15 million cases, more than 2,800 deaths in a single day. And then, there is the economic devastation, the lost jobs. The small businesses shuttered, not to mention what's happening to our schools. That parents and teachers who are being stretched to their limits and the toll it's taking on the mental health and well-being of our children who risk each day falling behind. Opening our schools and economies safely and responsibly, getting this virus under control, all of it starts with listening to experts and leaders like these, Americans who reflect the very best of our nation. They are top physicians, public health experts, and public servants, and they are the team that the American people need and deserve to make sure testing and treatment are free for everyone, to make sure vaccines are safe, free, and equitably distributed, to make sure we are better prepared for future pandemics and other health threats and to make sure quality affordable health care is available to all. From an early age, I saw the life-saving work that our healthcare professionals provide, especially for the most vulnerable among us. You see, my mother was a breast cancer researcher, and my sister and I spent many hours roaming the hallways of the hospital where she worked, and I'm sure your kids have to, and that's why I actually later co-founded an auxiliary group to help patients at the county hospital in Oakland, California more than 20 years ago. It is why we need to protect and expand the Affordable Care Act, and it is why we have to listen to front-line healthcare workers like Maureen and Talisa. In fact, during our conversation, Talisa said we wouldn't send our soldiers to battle without the gear they need, and we shouldn't then send our doctors and our nurses to fight this pandemic without the gear they need, and of course, she is right, and President-elect Biden and I along with this world-class team will make sure we are doing everything we can to save lives and contain this pandemic once and for all. Getting this virus under control is one of the defining challenges of our time, and we will do what the American people have always done in the face of a great challenge, we will stand together, and we will defeat it. Thank you. Thank you, Kamala. Thank you, President. Okay.