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Biden praises Christie for mask-wearing

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden offers support to union organizing efforts Senate Democrats nix 'Plan B' on minimum wage hike Kavanaugh dismays conservatives by dodging pro-Trump election lawsuits MORE praised former New Jersey Gov. Chris ChristieChris ChristieBiden administration buys 100,000 doses of Lilly antibody drug Cancun fallout threatens to deal lasting damage to Cruz On The Trail: The political perils of Snowmageddon MORE (R) for encouraging others to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I give former Governor Chris Christie credit. He and I disagreed on a number of things, but I'm thankful he's now encouraging people to do the right thing and wear masks for themselves, their loved ones and their country," Biden said while discussing COVID-19 in Wilmington, Del. "I hope that President TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE will listen to him. He can do it too. It would make a huge difference for President Trump to say, ‘wear masks.’”

After contracting the coronavirus and being hospitalized, Christie publicly said he was “wrong” for not wearing a mask in public and began encouraging others to do so.

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“You know, lying in isolation in ICU for seven days, I thought about how wrong I was to remove my mask at the White House,” Christie said in a video shared on Twitter earlier in December. 

“I want people to understand it's the most unpredictable and random virus you've ever seen. Don't let your guard down. I made a huge mistake by taking that mask off. As tired as you are of wearing the mask, and washing your hands, you will take those days in a heartbeat compared to getting this disease.” 

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In his briefing, Biden added, “I hope the president will clearly and unambiguously urge all Americans to take the vaccine once it's available. I took it to instill public confidence in the vaccine. [Vice] President-elect [Kamala] Harris took it — took hers today for the same reason.”

Trump has not yet received a dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Having already contracted the virus, he has likely developed antibodies, though medical experts have advised recovered COVID-19 patients to still get the vaccine as the data on the immunity offered by the antibodies has not been fully studied.

Harris received her first dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday while on camera, encouraging others to get the vaccine once it's widely available. She received the vaccine in a predominantly Black neighborhood in an effort to encourage inoculation among the Black community, members of which have expressed reluctance on the issue due to concerns regarding medical racism.

“I want to remind people that right in your community is where you can take the vaccine, where you will receive the vaccine, by folks you may know, folks who otherwise are working in the same hospital where you children were born, folks who are working in the same hospital where an elderly relative received the kind of care that needed," Harris said.

Biden offered a dark picture of the road ahead in his Tuesday remarks, saying the worst effects of the coronavirus may still lie ahead.

“We need to be honest. The next few weeks and months are going to be very tough, a very tough period for our nation. Maybe the toughest during this entire pandemic. I know it’s hard to hear, but it’s the truth,” he said.