President-elect Joe Biden said a peaceful transition of power and coordination between his team and the outgoing Trump administration is necessary to ensure the rapid distribution of a coronavirus vaccine.
“More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” Biden told reporters Monday in Delaware. “I am hopeful that the President will be mildly more enlightened before we get to January 20.”
President Donald Trump has refused to concede the election, and the Trump-appointed administrator of the General Services Administration has so far refused to begin the transition process. Biden’s remarks come after early data indicates that vaccines produced by both Moderna and Pfizer are effective.
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Biden also criticized Trump for golfing instead of working with Congress to negotiate further economic relief measures.
“The idea the President is still playing golf and not doing anything about it is beyond my comprehension,” Biden said.
He said Congress should pass a bill that provides state and local governments with funding for the payroll of public workers, such as teachers and emergency responders.
“There’s a reason why the federal government is able to run a deficit: because the states must, must, balance their budget. And they’re in real trouble,” Biden said, adding: “We can deliver immediate relief, and it need be done quickly.”
He also underscored the importance of wearing masks to slow the spread of COVID-19, and applauded Republican governors who had instituted mandates.
Biden then rebuked the White House coronavirus adviser, Scott Atlas, for encouraging people to “rise up” against state mask mandates.
“What the hell’s the matter with these guys? What is the matter with them? Resist?” Biden said. “Every major individual of any consequence in the health field is saying we can save” lives through mask mandates.
The president-elect held up the mask he had worn to the podium where he delivered his speech and said: “Does anybody understand why a governor would turn this into a political statement? It’s about patriotism.”
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