Editorial: The most critical years

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

At 78, Joe Biden became the oldest person ever to hold the presidency when he took the oath of office at noon on Jan 20. as the 46th President of the United States.
Biden has spent most of his years on Earth in service to the public, the majority of which were in the United States Senate, representing the people of Delaware. In his career, he has witnessed, and responded to, all kinds of crises that befell the republic — wars, recessions, political scandals, terrorist attacks, and more.
Yet the next four years of Biden’s life will be his most critical — and the most important to the United States. The task before him and incoming Vice President Kamala Harris is to heal a broken country, crippled by pandemics of disease and division, and rebuild America stronger than it was before.
COVID-19 has already killed more than 400,000 Americans, and will kill thousands more before it is finally defeated. While his predecessor dithered, delayed and dismissed his obligations, President Biden cannot spare a moment in finally getting this crisis under control.
Biden must lead a simultaneous, all-hands-on-deck effort to get critical care to where it is needed; expand the distribution of the vaccine; chart a path forward toward reopening business and schools; and lead a national campaign to get all Americans to take this virus and its threats seriously.
In rebuilding the economy, Biden must convince Congress to spend every dollar it can to help small businesses and working families. Our country needs a spending program not seen since the days of World War II to get people back to work, help families stay in their homes, open and reopen businesses, and improve public works.
New York needs all the help it can get from the Biden administration right away. The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been abysmal. Supplies are rapidly depleting, and it’s almost impossible to get an appointment. Restrictions are destroying restaurants and other small businesses every day, and the longer the virus persists, the more economic damage they will incur.
The city, like the country, is counting on Biden to deliver on his vows to help “build back better.” We have confidence he will do his very best.
We wish Biden well. As we learned the hard way the last four years, the entire country ultimately shares in a president’s success — or shoulders their failure.

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