WILMINGTON, Del. (NewsNation Now) — President-elect Joe Biden says that more coronavirus deaths will be the consequence of the Trump administration refusing to share its vaccine distribution plans with his incoming administration as he prepares to take office, as President Donald Trump promised more lawsuits in the hopes to alter his election defeat.
Asked about the importance of obtaining such plans, Biden said Monday after a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, that “more people may die if you don’t coordinate.”
Biden received a briefing and give a speech in his home state of Delaware on rebuilding an economy that has suffered millions of job losses as the pandemic has killed more than 246,000 people in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Biden’s scientific advisers will meet this week with pharmaceutical companies developing vaccines to prevent COVID-19, a top aide to the president-elect said, in preparation for the logistical challenges of widespread vaccination after Biden, a Democrat, takes office on Jan. 20.
Trump, a Republican, briefly appeared to acknowledge defeat on Sunday only to backtrack, saying on Twitter that he concedes “nothing” and repeating accusations of voter fraud. Twitter flagged his tweets with warning labels.
He later promised on Twitter to file “big cases showing the unconstitutionality of the 2020 Election,” even though he has made no headway with his legal challenges in multiple states so far.
Election officials of both parties have said there is no evidence of major irregularities. Federal election security officials have decried “unfounded claims” and expressed “utmost confidence” in the integrity of the elections, according to a statement last week by the lead U.S. cybersecurity agency.
More than a week after Biden was projected the winner by the Associated Press and major news organizations based on state-by-state vote counts, the Trump administration has still not recognized him as president-elect, preventing his team from gaining access to government office space and funding normally provided to an incoming administration to ensure a smooth transition.
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have spoken about the dangers of the Trump administration’s refusal to provide them with information and resources needed to ensure a smooth transition. President Donald Trump has continued to falsely claim he won the Nov. 3 election, citing unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.
Biden says a vaccine is vital to repairing nation’s economy, Biden says, “If we have to wait until Jan. 20 to start that planning, it puts us behind.”
Biden says he understands Trump’s “reluctance” to admit defeat and share plans but calls it “a shame.”
Biden has promised to make the health crisis a top priority as president. Ron Klain, who will be White House chief of staff when Biden takes office on Jan. 20, said Biden’s scientific advisers would meet with Pfizer Inc and other drugmakers this week.
Pfizer said last week its vaccine candidate had proved more than 90% effective in initial trials, giving hope that widespread vaccination in the coming months could help get the pandemic under control. Other companies also are in advanced stages of developing promising vaccines.
Moderna said Monday that its vaccine appears to be nearly 95% effective, according to preliminary data from the company’s still ongoing study.