- President-elect Joe Biden on Monday suggested there will be more preventable COVID-19 deaths if the formal transition process doesn’t begin soon.
- Biden emphasized the need for coordination between his team and the Trump administration on COVID-19, especially on a national vaccination plan that aims to immunize all Americans only months into the Biden administration.
- “More people may die, if we don’t coordinate,” Biden said.
- “If we have to wait until January 20th to start that planning, it puts us behind, over a month and a half,” Biden added.
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President-elect Joe Biden on Monday suggested there could be fatal consequences if the Trump administration continues to delay the transition process and there’s no coordination on how to handle the COVID-19 pandemic.
After Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris delivered remarks on the economy in Wilmington, Delaware, the president-elect was asked by a reporter about President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede and the dangers of the administration holding up the transition.
“More people may die, if we don’t coordinate,” Biden said in reply, emphasizing the need to work together on a plan to vaccinize 328 million Americans rapidly against COVID-19. “If we have to wait until January 20th to start that planning, it puts us behind, over a month and a half,” Biden added.
COVID-19 has led to nearly 247,000 confirmed deaths in the US so far, per Johns Hopkins, more than any other country in the world.
—CSPAN (@cspan) November 16, 2020
As Trump continues to push baseless claims the election was stolen from him due to mass voter fraud, the official transition process has faced major obstacles.
Emily Murphy, the Trump-appointed head of the Government Services Agency (GSA), has not yet recognized Biden as the likely winner of the 2020 election. Under federal law, it's Murphy's job to formally launch the transition process by issuing a letter of "ascertainment" on the election results.
By declining to declare Biden as the apparent winner of the 2020 election, Murphy has presented a roadblock between the president-elect and federal resources intended to make the transition process easier.
In 2016, for example, the GSA formally initiated the transition the day after media projections showing Trump had won the presidential race.
Biden on Monday also said Trump's refusal to concede is "embarrassing" for the US.
"I find this more embarrassing for the country than debilitating for my ability to get started," Biden said.