President-elect Joe Biden mentioned on Monday “extra people may die” if outgoing President Donald Trump continues blocking a U.S. transition of power as the coronavirus pandemic worsens, and he urged Congress to move new relief legislation.
Biden mentioned enterprise and labor leaders had signaled willingness to work collectively to bolster the pandemic-battered U.S. financial system however careworn COVID-19 first has to be brought under control.
The Democratic president-elect delivered a speech and took questions from reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, after consulting collectively with the CEOs of top U.S. corporations and labor leaders on Monday. He welcomed additional progress in COVID-19 vaccine improvement.
Biden will inherit an economy that has suffered tens of millions of job losses throughout a pandemic that has killed greater than 246,000 individuals in America. U.S. COVID-19 instances are surging as Biden prepares to take office on Jan. 20.
“We’re going into a really darkish winter. Issues are going to get a lot harder earlier than they get simpler,” Biden mentioned of the pandemic.
Biden once more referred to as upon the Trump administration to cooperate together with his transition crew on containing the surge in instances. “Extra individuals could die if we do not coordinate,” he mentioned.
He urged Congress to move pandemic reduction laws. Talks on such laws stalled for months earlier than the Nov. Three election.
Biden insisted, nonetheless, that Trump’s refusal to concede was not inhibiting his transition efforts. “I discover this extra embarrassing for the nation than debilitating for my potential to get began,” he mentioned.
On different financial issues, Biden mentioned he plans to pursue “a fairer tax construction” with firms paying their fair proportion and added that he wished to see a $15 hourly minimal wage nationwide. Biden mentioned no authorities contracts can be given to corporations that don’t make merchandise in the United States.
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris earlier held a noon video convention with a number of chief executives including Basic Motors Co’s Mary Barra, Microsoft Corp’s Satya Nadella, Goal Corp’s Brian Cornell, and Hole Inc’s Sonia Syngal.
In statements, the businesses referred to Biden because the “president-elect,” and GM said it was trying ahead to “working with the brand new administration,” – tacit rejections of Trump’s problem to the election outcomes.
Additionally collaborating had been AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka and the heads of the Service Workers Worldwide Union, the United Auto Workers and two different massive unions.
‘READY FOR PRIME TIME’
Biden mentioned Moderna Inc’s announcement that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine was 94.5% efficient based mostly on interim information from a late-stage trial offered recent hope for beating the coronavirus. Coupled with optimistic outcomes final week on a rival Pfizer Inc shot, Moderna’s information added to optimism that widespread vaccination within the coming months may assist tame the pandemic.
Requested whether or not he personally can be prepared to get vaccinated with one of many newly developed pictures, Biden informed reporters, “I would not hesitate to get the vaccine.”
“They seem like prepared for prime time, prepared for use,” Biden mentioned of the 2 vaccine candidates.
Biden urged Americans to restrict the variety of individuals at gatherings for the subsequent week’s Thanksgiving vacation, with social distancing and masks inspired.
TRUMP DIGS IN
Biden pressed forward with financial planning even because the Republican Trump on Monday once more refused to just accept his election loss. Trump’s nationwide safety adviser, Robert O’Brien, mentioned on Monday he was ready to make sure an expert transition to Biden’s crew.
“If the Biden-Harris ticket is set to be the winner, and clearly issues appear like that now, we’ll have a really skilled transition from the National Security Council, there is not any query about it,” O’Brien mentioned.
Biden beat Trump by the identical 306-232 margin within the state-by-state Electoral School that prompted Trump to proclaim a “landslide” victory in 2016. Biden additionally gained the nationwide widespread vote by not less than 5.5 million votes, or 3.6 share factors, with some ballots nonetheless being counted.
Trump has made no headway with legal actions in multiple states up to now. On Monday, the Wisconsin Elections Fee mentioned a statewide vote recount would value an estimated $7.9 million, cash that Trump’s campaign must pay upfront ought to it requests one.
Biden gained Wisconsin by a margin of 0.7 share level, or about 20,000 votes, with 99% of ballots counted, in keeping with Edison Analysis.
Election officers from each event have mentioned there isn’t any proof of main irregularities. Federal election safety officers have decried “unfounded claims” and expressed “utmost confidence” within the election’s integrity.
Trump suffered one other setback when James Bopp, a conservative legal professional, on Monday voluntarily withdrew lawsuits filed in federal courts searching for to dam the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin from certifying their election outcomes. The lawsuits made unsubstantiated claims of illegal voting.