‘More people may die’: Biden urges Trump to aid transition as virus rages across the nation; US governors ratchet up restrictions ahead of Thanksgiving
President-elect Joe Biden got to the heart of the matter and warned of dire consequences if President Donald Trump and his administration continue to refuse to coordinate with his transition team on the pandemic and block briefings on national security, policy issues and vaccine plans.
”More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” Biden said in Wilmington, Delaware.
The stark remarks were Biden’s toughest to date on Trump’s failure to acknowledge his election loss and cooperate with the incoming administration for a peaceful transfer of power, Steve Peoples and Alexandra Jaffe report.
The outgoing president has refused so far to bend to pressure from Democrats or Republicans as he continues to dispute his loss to Biden, who has surpassed the 270 electoral vote threshold to become president and is leading Trump by more than 5.5 million votes nationally.
VIDEO: Biden cites need for Trump to share virus plans.
VIDEO: Biden urges Americans to limit Thanksgiving plans.
Pandemic Politics: Trump and lawmakers in Congress are telling struggling Americans to just keep waiting for help as the nation grapples with a burgeoning virus public health crisis. The politics of a presidential transition are muddying the waters and key players are trying to buy time with the promise of a coming vaccine. But the urgency of the nationwide surge in cases, spiking hospitalizations and increasing death tolls has hardly resonated in the nation’s capital. The virus has killed more than 247,000 Americans this year and infected at least 11.1 million –- some 1 million of them in just the past week, Zeke Miller and Andrew Taylor report.
U.S. States: From California to Pennsylvania, more governors and mayors are ratcheting up restrictions ahead of Thanksgiving for fear that holiday travel and family gatherings will only worsen the record-breaking, coast-to-coast resurgence of the virus. In states like New Mexico and Washington and cities such as Philadelphia and Chicago, leaders are ordering or imploring residents to stay home and keep their distance from others to stem a rising tide of infections that threatens to overwhelm the health care system. A record-breaking nearly 70,000 people were hospitalized with the virus in the U.S. as of Sunday, 13,000 more than a week earlier, David Eggert and Rachel La Corte report.
VIDEO: California tightens reopen rules as coronavirus surges.
Transition Federal Roadblock; The head of an obscure federal agency, the General Services Administration, which is holding up Biden’s presidential transition knew well before Election Day that she might have a messy situation on her hands. Prior to Nov. 3, administrator Emily Murphy held a Zoom call with the man in her shoes 20 years earlier during the contested 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Dave Barram says he gave Murphy simple advice, telling her, “If you do the right thing, then all you have to do is live with the consequences of it.” Aamer Mdhani reports.
AP FACT CHECK: Trump conclusively lost, but denies the evidence. He continues to claim his defeat was a victory. Calvin Woodward finds his claim is mathematically impossible.
Pennsylvania: A hearing on the Trump campaign’s federal lawsuit seeking to prevent state officials from certifying the vote results is scheduled for today in Williamsport after the judge denied a request for a delay. The Trump campaign wants to prevent certification of voting results that give Biden Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, Mark Scolforo reports.
Congress Social Media: A Senate panel is calling on the CEOs of Facebook and Twitter to defend their handling of disinformation in the presidential contest. But the senators are deeply divided by party over the integrity and results of the election. The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing today to question Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey on their companies’ actions around the election, Marcy Gordon reports.
Public Health: Programs in the U.S. have seen a surge in enrollment as the pandemic has swept through the country. As state and local public health departments struggle with slashed budgets, surging demand and threats to workers’ safety, a new generation is entering the field, determined to help fight the virus and other public health challenges, Michelle. R. Smith and Kathy Young report.
VIDEO: Pandemic spurs new interest in public health field.