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Reed To Attend Inauguration, Not Worried About Security

Problem Solvers Caucus co-chair Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., speaks to the media about the expected passage of the emergency COVID-19 relief bill, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Congressional leaders have hashed out a massive, year-end catchall bill that combines $900 billion in COVID-19 aid with a $1.4 trillion spending bill and reams of other unfinished legislation on taxes, energy, education and health care. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Despite the possibility of more protests taking place in Washington, D.C. during the inauguration of President-elect Joseph Biden today, Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, will be attending the ceremony.

On Tuesday, Reed discussed the inauguration during a conference call with regional media. He said it sends a message to the country and the world that a Republican, like himself, can “join together” with Biden to complete the transition of power.

Reed said even though there are security concerns, he has faith in the thousands of National Guard troops stationed in the nation’s capital, calling them the “best of the best.”

“I have no concerns about my personal safety,” he said. “There are legitimate concerns, but I’m confident we will have a safe and secure inauguration.”

During the conference call, Reed was asked about the legacy of President Donald Trump, whose four years in Oval Office has been marked by division. Reed said he was one of the first elected officials to endorse Trump when he ran for president. He said that he worked closely with the president to get criminal and tax reform laws enacted. Reed added that Trump has played a significant role in several peace agreements between countries in the Middle East.

“I don’t think you can discount those historic policy achievements,” Reed said.

However, Reed said Trump is certainly open to being criticized for his style of delivery throughout his time as president.

“There is a disagreement between him and I about how to conduct leadership as a federal official,” Reed said.

Reed said the country is more divided now than four years ago when Trump took office. Reed said he encourages Biden to heal the country to bring us all together.

Reed said members of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group in the United States House of Representatives that includes 50 members equally divided between Democrats and Republicans and which Reed co-chairs, are willing to listen to Biden and are prepared to debate the issues facing the nation.

“I’m willing to listen. I’m willing to compromise and there is some common ground we could get to,” he said.

Reed said an area of common ground between Biden and Congress is the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. He said Biden plans on using Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist states in distributing the vaccine.

Reed added that the quicker the vaccine has been distributed to the American people the faster herd immunity will be achieved. Herd immunity occurs when enough people become immune to a disease to make its spread unlikely. As a result, the entire community is protected, even those who are not themselves immune. Herd immunity is usually achieved through vaccination, but it can also occur through natural infection.

“That is the ultimate solution to the COVID-19 pandemic is the vaccine,” he said.

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