Biden urges Americans to 'have confidence' in vaccine

Biden urges Americans to 'have confidence' in vaccine

17:06 - President-elect Joe Biden urged Americans to have confidence in Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine on Friday after a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel endorsed it.

"I want to make it clear to the public: You should have confidence in this. There is no political influence," Biden said speaking from Wilmington, Del.

Biden's remarks came during a press conference where he introduced his latest slate of Cabinet nominees, including Tom Vilsack, Katherine Tai, Susan Rice and Denis McDonough.

A federal advisory panel of outside experts voted 17-4 on Thursday to recommend that the FDA grant Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine emergency use authorization. The FDA is not bound to the recommendation but is widely expected to follow it.

The development comes as coronavirus cases and deaths surge across the country. The U.S. recorded more than 3,000 deaths due to the coronavirus in a single day Wednesday. The coronavirus has infected more than 15.5 million Americans and has killed more than 290,000.

Biden acknowledged the severity of the pandemic in his remarks on Friday, saying presidential leadership was needed.

"We're in the teeth of a crisis right now. This nation needs presidential leadership, right now," Biden said. "Presidential leadership that is willing to model the steps we should be taking to save our own lives and lives of our families."

Trump has offered a strikingly different tone on the pandemic. Despite rising cases nationwide, Trump has hosted a number of in-person holiday celebrations where dozens of guests attend without masks.