Joe Biden expressed optimism that the U.S. will come out stronger after the coronavirus pandemic, Saturday during a phone call broadcast on MSNBC. Biden also hoped that afterward, people will appreciate "essential workers" like nurses and first responders, grocery store and restaurant clerks, garbage men, bus drivers, etc.
JOE BIDEN: I'm characterized as a congenital optimist, but I think we're going to come out of this awful thing we're going through, and I think people are going to have a much greater appreciation and a sense of what everybody else is going through.
I don't think there's a lot of people in some of the neighborhoods I live in now, or that you all are in, that really ever, you know, walked out and thanked that guy or that woman who kept the drain and the sewer from clogging so your basement didn't flood. I don't think anybody thought much about the guy stacking the oranges in produce, in the fruit counter at the supermarket. I don't think people thought a lot about the most incredible people in the world, the nurses, the men and women who are nurses. And I think all of a sudden there's a dawning on people there's no way they could make it without these quiet, silent heroes.
I mean, I'm really proud -- I know this sounds corny, but I'm really proud to be an American. I talked about I thought we had to restore the soul of America. We're seeing the soul of America now. We're seeing so many incredibly decent honorable people doing things in many cases I never thought they were going to do, just stepping up.
And we're the only country I'm aware of, whether we created or inherited a great crisis, that's always come out stronger than when we were in it. I think this is one of those moments, I think it's one of these moments where people are going, "Holy God, I didn't realize that. That person does all that and gets paid $9 dollars an hour, or $7 dollars an hour? You mean that person risked their life and lost their life because of that."
When's the last time I stopped at a firehouse and said to the guys driving the ambulance, hey, guys, thanks?
And you see it now. You see people responding to it. You've seen people respond.