'More people may die' if Trump does't aid transition: Biden

Updated: 18 November, 2020 08:29 IST | Agencies | Wilmington

Biden called the vaccine distribution a "huge, huge undertaking," and said that if his team has to wait until he takes office to dig into the government's distribution plan, they'll be "behind, over a month, month and a half."

US President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a press conference at The Queen in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday. Pic/AFP
US President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a press conference at The Queen in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday. Pic/AFP

"More people may die if we don't coordinate," President-elect Joe Biden on Monday warned as President Donald Trump and his administration continue to refuse to work with his transition team on the coronavirus pandemic, and block briefings on national security, policy issues and vaccine plans.

The remarks marked Biden's toughest to date on Trump's failure to acknowledge his election loss allow a peaceful transfer of power. Biden and his aides — and a small but growing group of Republicans — have emphasised the importance of being briefed on White House efforts to control the pandemic and distribute prospective vaccines.

The Trump admin is working on its own distribution plan, while Biden's chief of staff indicated his transition team will proceed with their own planning separately because of the obstruction.

Biden called the vaccine distribution a "huge, huge undertaking," and said that if his team has to wait until he takes office to dig into the government's distribution plan, they'll be "behind, over a month, month and a half."

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said, "It is no easy matter" to distribute a vaccine, Collins said, so "it's absolutely imperative for public health, that all of the planning that's gone on for which the current administration deserves credit, be shared with the new administration." Collins' remarks were echoed on Monday by other Republicans.

Trump's Pennsylvania lawsuit heads to court

A hearing on the Trump campaign's federal lawsuit seeking to prevent Pennsylvania officials from certifying the vote results remains on track for Tuesday after a judge quickly denied the campaign's new lawyer's request for a delay. US Middle District Judge Matthew Brann told lawyers for Donald Trump, and the counties and state election official it has sued that they must show up and "be prepared for argument and questioning" at the Williamsport federal courthouse. The Trump campaign wants to prevent certification of results that give President-elect Joe Biden the state's 20 electoral votes, suing over election procedures that were not uniform across the state.

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First Published: 18 November, 2020 08:40 IST

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