President-elect Joe Biden's incoming economic team unveiled Tuesday pledged to take urgent action as soon as they are sworn in to correct an economy struggling from the global coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking in Wilmington alongside Biden, Treasury Secretary Nominee Janet Yellen described the economic crisis brought on by the COVID pandemic as an "American tragedy" and warned that without quick action to address it, the damage will get worse.
Yellen spoke about the "historic crises" of the pandemic and the economic fallout resulting from it, as well as the "disproportionate impact" it's had on "the most vulnerable among us."
Talking about the pandemic that has cost 268,000 American lives, Yellen referenced the "lost lives, lost jobs" and struggles Americans face "to put food on the table and pay bills and rent."
She went on to say that "it's essential that we move with urgency" because "inaction will produce a self-reinforcing downturn causing yet more devastation." She pledged to Americans that the Treasury would be "an institution that wakes up every morning thinking about you."
In Biden’s team is Nigerian-born Adewale Adeyemo, who would serve as the new Deputy Treasury Secretary. Adeyemo will work with Janet Yellen, the nominee for Treasury Secretary. He'd be the first Black person to serve in the role.
"The challenges before us today are unlike anything we have ever faced", Adewale, better known as Wally Adeyemo told the audience.
"... I know that what the President-elect so often reminds us of is true. The American people can do anything when given a chance. And I'm honored to be a part of this talented team and to work with them and all the American people to build an economy that gives everyone that chance and turns our nation once again from crisis to hope. " he added.
Moments after, Biden's choice to run the White House budget office said social programs helped her family when she was a young girl being raised by a single mother in a Boston suburb and she pledged to promote those same programs when she's in office.
Neera Tanden said her mother faced hard choices after divorce left her to raise two young children. She said her family survived on food stamps and federal housing vouchers until her mother got a job and eventually bought a house.
Tanden said she wants to give people the same chance at a fair shot.
Tanden would help prepare Biden's federal budgets as director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Word of her expected nomination has encountered early disapproval from some Republican senators who will vote on whether she becomes the first woman of Indian descent to lead the office.
The new administration would be sworn in on 20 January 2021.