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Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

President Biden thanked staff at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today for their role in combatting the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We owe you a gigantic debt of gratitude, and we will for a long, long, long time, because, I hope this is the beginning of the end of not paying attention to what’s going to come again and again and again and again,” Biden said during brief remarks following a briefing at CDC headquarters in Atlanta.

“We can build all the walls and we can get the most powerful armies in the world — we cannot stop, we cannot stop these viruses, other than be aware where they are and move quickly on them when we find them,” he added.

“I just want you to have some confidence that it’s not only the vice president, I, and the whole team, the whole Covid team writ large, committed, but the American people have moved. The American people have moved, this is a bipartisan effort now.” 

The President went on to tout his Covid-19 relief bill and the support he said the plan has garnered from the public across the country. No Republicans ultimately supported the administration’s Covid relief bill in the House or Senate, forcing Democrats to pass the legislation through reconciliation with a simple majority.

“Well, we didn’t get any help in the Senate or the House, but there’s 55% of a Republicans in America supporting it, you have 90-something% of the Democrats, 80-something—the point is, the public is thankful to you, because it’s about science, that’s what they understand they understand,” Biden said.

In closing, Biden told the CDC staff, “You’ve changed things, you’ve change them in a way that are going to make everybody healthier in this country. And when we have a crisis, you’re prepared to meet it. Because you speak truth and science to power.”

After Biden’s remarks, Vice President Kamala Harris took the opportunity to laud Biden for his commitment to science that driven his administration’s response to the pandemic, telling CDC staff, “everyone here knows, before the President was President, he was dedicated to science.” 

“The President takes calls with leaders around the world, we talk with people around the world, and they have named their Centers of Disease Control after this Center of Disease Control,” Harris said, adding the American CDC serves as a template for other nations. 

“You all are a model for the world around what can be done based on a pursuit of that which will uplift and improve human condition in life.”

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