(CNN) — US President-elect Joe Biden has warned that President Donald Trump’s unwillingness to accept the 2020 election result and initiate a transition could hamper the incoming Biden administration’s ability to quickly distribute a vaccine against the coronavirus.
“More people can die if we don’t coordinate,” Biden told reporters Monday in Delaware at a news conference after meeting with labor and business leaders and delivering a speech on the economy.
Biden’s comment comes as Trump refuses to acknowledge the reality that he lost the presidential election. Trump’s appointee in the General Services Administration has so far refused to take the legally necessary steps to begin the transition process. That recognition would give Biden’s team a budget, intelligence reports and access to federal agencies.
Biden said coordination is important “now, or as soon as we can do it,” and said “it would be a lot easier if the president participated.”
“I am hopeful that the president is a little more enlightened before we get to January 20,” he said, noting the date he will take office.
Biden calls for Trump’s cooperation on transition
Biden criticized Trump for not working with Congress to negotiate a measure to help businesses. A new subsidy package would also help unemployed Americans as the pandemic progresses.
“The idea that the president is still playing golf and doing nothing about it is beyond my understanding,” Biden said.
His speech came on the same day as the news that the first data shows that Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine is 94.5% effective, and a week after the first data showed that Pfizer’s vaccine is 90. % effective.
Biden praised Republican governors who have demanded that citizens of their states wear face masks, highlighting Doug Burgum of North Dakota; Gary Herbert from Utah and Mike DeWine from Ohio.
And he lashed out at Trump’s coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas for urging people on Twitter to “stand up” against governors’ mask-wearing mandates.
What the hell is wrong with these guys? What happens to them? Resist? ”Biden asked. “Every important individual of any importance in the health field is saying that we can save” lives through masking mandates.
Holding up the mask he had worn on the podium where he delivered his speech Monday, Biden said: “Does anyone understand why a governor would turn this into a political statement? It’s about patriotism. ‘
Biden calls for new financial support package
Biden said the economy was “on the brink” and said it was heading into a “very dark winter” months before coronavirus vaccines could become widely available.
He also urged Congress to pass a coronavirus relief package that includes funds to help state and local governments with payroll for public workers, such as teachers and first responders.
“There is a reason the federal government can run a deficit: because states must, must, balance their budget. And they are in serious trouble, “said Biden.
He called on the Democrat-led House of Representatives and the Republican-controlled Senate to pass a package similar to legislation the House passed months ago but which the Senate has refused to accept.
“We can provide immediate relief, and it must be done quickly,” Biden said.
And in an implicit rebuke to Trump, who has frequently opposed financial aid for Democratic-led states and cities, Biden said “we are all Americans.” He added that the need for bipartisan collaboration is “a mandate of the American people.”
“They want us to cooperate,” he said.
Biden begins a transition process despite Trump’s refusal
Biden’s comments on Monday followed a virtual meeting he and Harris held with the heads of several of the nation’s top labor unions. The top executives from Microsoft, General Motors, Gap and Target also participated.
“I must tell you, it reinforced what I thought from the beginning: we are ready to unite. And the drive was amazing, ”Biden said of the meeting. “It was really encouraging, frankly, to get people, companies and workers to agree on the way forward.”
Biden is set to take office, just like he did as vice president, in 2008, with a battered economy, this time as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Biden campaigned to boost hundreds of billions of dollars in stimulus spending for clean energy, infrastructure and what he called the “care economy.”
The president-elect launched that plan Monday afternoon, calling them the kind of investments that could strengthen America’s economy and create millions of union jobs. He also said he wants a minimum wage of $ 15 an hour nationwide.
«The road ahead of us will not be easy. But the president-elect and I are starting to work, ”said Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. “We don’t have a moment to lose.”
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.