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COVID-19, economic recovery and climate change top priorities for Biden, Harris

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Washington, Nov 09: Tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis, systemic racism and climate change are the top priorities for the Biden administration, according to his transition team, as President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris gear up for building back everything "better than ever".

Kamala Harris

Following a tense week of vote tallying, Democratic presidential candidate Biden, on Saturday won the state of Pennsylvania and vaulted ahead in the race to become the next president of the United States.

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Biden's win in the key battleground state put him over the threshold of 270 electoral votes, cutting off all avenues for his opponent, incumbent Republican President Donald Trump.

As Biden's vice president, Harris, will make history in myriad ways, becoming the first woman - and the first woman of colour - to occupy the office.

The Biden team updated its website to showcase four policy areas the incoming administration will prioritise: COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change.

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"We aren't just going to rebuild what has worked in the past. This is our opportunity to build back better than ever," said the Biden-Harris transition team on Sunday, giving details of the priorities for the next administration which will be inaugurated on January 20, 2021.

"President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris are confronting a pandemic, an economic crisis, calls for racial justice, and climate change. The team being assembled will meet these challenges on Day One," the campaign said.

Once sworn into office, Biden and Harris will provide the much-needed national leadership to tackle the pandemic and begin our nation's recovery, it said. The mandate of the transition team is to put in place the infrastructure that can ensure a smooth transition from the outgoing administration and efficiently run the administration on day one.

Observing that the American people deserve an urgent, robust, and professional response to the growing public health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the team said that Biden believes that the federal government must act swiftly and aggressively to help protect and support the families, small businesses, first responders, and caregivers essential to help them face this challenge.

The Biden-Harris administration will always listen to science, ensure public health decisions are informed by public health professionals and promote trust, transparency, common purpose, and accountability in the government, it said.

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The US is currently the world's worst-hit nation from the pandemic and has had more than 9.8 million cases and over 237,000 deaths from the virus since the pandemic started in the central Chinese city of Wuhan last year. Economic recovery is the second top priority for the Biden-Harris administration.

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    In this time of crisis, President-elect Biden has a plan to create millions of good-paying jobs, make it easier for workers to organise unions and collectively bargain, and to give America's working families the tools, choices, and freedom they need to build back better, it said.

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