Washington D.C.: US President-elect Joe Biden has expressed frustration over Donald Trump’s refusal to cooperate on the White House transition process, saying “more people may die” of coronavirus without immediate coordination on fighting the surging pandemic.
The Democratic president-elect Monday was taking questions from reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, after consulting jointly with the CEOs of top US companies and labor leaders on Monday. He welcomed further progress in COVID-19 vaccine development, and said curbing the spread of the virus was his first priority.
Biden was declared winner of the November 3 election but Trump has not conceded, and his administration has so far failed to formally acknowledge the veteran Democrat as the president-elect.
That leaves Biden and his team unable to coordinate with government officials on crucial continuity of issues like national security, but also on emergencies like a distribution plan for Covid-19 vaccines to tens of millions of Americans.
From Trump, Biden will inherit an economy that has suffered millions of job losses during a pandemic that has killed more than 246,000 people in the United States. US COVID-19 cases are surging as Biden prepares to take office on January 20.
To this end, Biden said business and labour leaders had signalled willingness to work together to bolster the pandemic-battered US economy but stressed COVID-19 first must be brought under control.
“We’re going into a very dark winter. Things are going to get much tougher before they get easier,” Biden said of the pandemic.
Biden again called upon the Trump administration to cooperate with his transition team on containing the surge in cases. “More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” he said.