More will die of COVID-19 if Trump and I do not cooperate: Biden
Washington, Nov 17: US President-elect Joe Biden has said many more Americans are at the risk of dying from coronavirus, if he and incumbent President Donald Trump do not coordinate on tackling the virus outbreak.
According to media projections, Democrat Biden has won the November 3 presidential election. However, Trump, a Republican, has alleged election fraud and mounted legal fights in a number of battleground states.
"More people may die if we don't coordinate," Biden said in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday, responding to a question on President Donald Trump refusing to concede the election and the outgoing administration not co-operating in the transition process.
"A vaccine is important. It's of little use until you're vaccinated. So, how do we get the vaccine, how do we get over 300 million Americans vaccinated? What's the game plan? It's a huge, huge, huge undertaking to get it done, prioritise those greatest in need and working our way through, and also cooperate with the World Health Organization and the rest of the world in dealing with this," he said.
"So they (Trump administration) say they have this 'Warp Speed' program that not only dealt with getting vaccines, but also how to distribute this. If we have to wait until January 20th (day of Presidential inauguration) to start that planning, it puts us behind over a month, month-and-a-half. And so, it's important that it be done, that there be coordination now, now or as rapidly as we can get that done," Biden said.
As of now, Biden said his action plan is to deal with every individual, organisation in the country from business to labour, Republicans and Democrats, to try to pull together a serious and consistent plan so that he is ready on day one with everything from staffing to ultimately naming cabinet members to moving along on coordinating with business and labour, the Covid-19 outbreak.
"And so, it would make it a lot easier if the president were to participate. We have a number of Republicans suggesting that--the good news here is my colleague is still on the Intelligence Committee so she gets the intelligence briefings. I don't anymore. But there's a number of Republicans calling for that," he said.
"My message is I will work with you. I understand a lot of your reluctance because of the way the president operates, but I've been in contact with and will be in contact with more of them as we move along. And if it has to wait until January 20th to get--to actually become operational, that's a shame but it may be that's the only way to get it done," he said.
Biden was also asked about his thoughts on Trump's tweet over the weekend where he first seemed to acknowledge that Biden had won the election. However, soon after Trump said he would not concede, and that he had won.
"I interpret that as Trumping-ism, no change in his modus operandi. And I think the pressure will continue to build," he said.
The President-elect said that he is having a lot of meetings with world leaders on the telephone and he can get into negotiating with them about things that are going to be done. They are calling with some degree of enthusiasm everyone from a holy father to prime ministers across the globe.
"So we are moving along knowing what the outcome will be and ... but I find this more embarrassing for the country than debilitating for my ability to get started," Biden said.