Biden warned of grave consequences if Trump and his administration continue to refuse to coordinate with his transition team.
President-elect Joe Biden issued an urgent warning to Donald Trump, alerting the president that his refusal to accept the outcome of the 2020 election could seriously hinder the incoming Biden administration’s ability to distribute a coronavirus vaccine in the midst of the growing pandemic.
His speech came a week after early data showed Pfizer’s vaccine is 90% effective, and on the same day it was announced that preliminary data shows Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine is 94.5% effective.
After calling out the president, Biden went on to warn of grave consequences if Trump and his administration continue to refuse to coordinate with his transition team and keep blocking briefings on national security, policy issues, and vaccine plans.
“More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” Biden told reporters during a news conference held Monday in Wilmington, Delaware. The remarks came after the president-elect and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris held a virtual meeting with labor and business leaders, and delivered a speech on the economy.
Biden added that if his team has to wait until he takes office to access the government’s distribution plan, they’ll be “behind, over a month, month and a half.”
A Stubborn Refusal
To ensure a well-coordinated transition, Biden’s team needs a budget, intelligence briefings, and access to federal agencies. But so far, the Trump-appointed administrator of the General Services Administration has refused to take the legally necessary steps to start carrying out the process.
Biden said he is hopeful that Trump “will be mildly more enlightened before we get to January 20,” the date in which he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be inaugurated.
Then, in his strongest remarks to date on this matter, Biden went on to lambast Trump for failing to work with Congress to negotiate a plan to aid businesses and the unemployed in the midst of the pandemic that has so far impacted more than 11 million Americans and claimed 248,000 lives across the nation.
“The idea the President is still playing golf and not doing anything about it is beyond my comprehension,” Biden said during Monday’s conference.
As of Tuesday, Trump’s agenda listed “no public events,” the 10th time this has happened since the election. Biden won with 306 electoral votes; Trump beat Hillary Clinton with 304 electoral votes in 2016, which he called a “landslide” victory.
The president continues to remain “bunkered” in the White House, as one official said, and has not met with the press nor ventured further than his namesake golf course in Virginia.
Building Back Better
Biden—who campaigned on what he called the caregiving economy, or the promise of spending trillions of dollars to reignite US manufacturing, expand healthcare coverage, and combat climate change—touched on that plan Monday, saying that it could strengthen the United States economy as well as create millions of union jobs.
This goes hand in hand with his first priority, which is controlling the coronavirus pandemic as it continues unabated heading into the winter.
“Once we shut down the virus and deliver economic relief to workers and businesses, then we can start to build back better than before,” Biden said.