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Bidens honor front-line workers in NYE address: 'We owe them, we owe them, we owe them'

Bidens honor front-line workers in NYE address: 'We owe them, we owe them, we owe them'
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President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenEx-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' News leaders deal with the post-Trump era MORE and his wife Jill BidenJill BidenBiden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president Overnight Health Care: FDA says millions of J&J doses from troubled plant must be thrown out | WHO warns Africa falling far behind in vaccinations | Top CDC official says US not ready for next pandemic The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Sights and sounds from Biden's UK visit MORE honored front-line workers in a New Year's Eve address Thursday during ABC's "New Year’s Rockin’ Eve" broadcast from Times Square.

The program's host Ryan Seacrest asked Biden and the future first lady what they would like to say to front-line workers present in New York City and around the nation who have worked to battle the coronavirus pandemic this year. 

“My mother used to have an expression," Biden said. “Bravery resides in every heart and someday it’ll be summoned. [In] the people we're honoring tonight, it was summoned and they stepped up, and they're brave. They did so much,” the president-elect said to Seacrest.

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“They risked their lives. They've done so much for us and we owe them, we owe them, we owe them," added Biden.

"We're so grateful for everything they did. You know, they left their families and their homes so that we could be safe and I — all Americans truly appreciate what they did for us," added Jill Biden.

Health care workers have consistently been at the forefront of the pandemic, and many nurses, doctors and hospital staff have lost their lives to the disease. 

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The Bidens' address comes as the coronavirus continues to ravage the United States. The country has recorded over 19 million coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic, and over 344,000 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this month approved both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for emergency use, and the federal government has worked to administer the vaccines to protect those most at risk, including front-line health care workers. 

However, it appears that the Trump administration will not achieve its goal of vaccinating 20 million people by the end of 2020. 

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracker shows that only about 2 million people have received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. On Thursday afternoon, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciDelta variant's UK dominance sparks concerns in US Overnight Health Care: FDA says millions of J&J doses from troubled plant must be thrown out | WHO warns Africa falling far behind in vaccinations | Top CDC official says US not ready for next pandemic Top CDC official warns US not ready for next pandemic MORE, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said the vaccine rollout was "disappointing." 

Biden himself hit the administration over the vaccine rollout Tuesday, saying that the plan to deliver the vaccines was "falling far behind." 

Seacrest asked the president-elect for his hopes ahead of the new year. 

"I'm more optimistic about America's chances than I've ever been, and I've been around this for a while," said Biden.

"We have the most productive workers in the world. We've now found vaccines that are available, and they're going to work if people can just have to — get a better way to getting more out there quicker. I find that we're in a situation where we once again have to step up and make the world and lead the nation," he continued.

He added, "Americans can do anything and I am absolutely, positively, confident — confident — we're going to come back and come back even stronger than we were before."

"Things are gonna get better, America," Jill Biden said as their address ended.

"Keep the faith," urged Joe Biden.