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Monday, June 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Biden Urges Trump to Coordinate Transition Or ‘More People May Die’

President-elect Joe Biden said President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome of the national election is endangering a smooth transition necessary to ensure an effective rollout of coronavirus vaccines that many experts believe will end the pandemic.

(CN) — President-elect Joe Biden said President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome of the national election is endangering a smooth transition necessary to ensure an effective rollout of coronavirus vaccines that many experts believe will end the pandemic. 

“If we have to wait until Jan. 20, it puts us behind,” Biden said in an appearance with his running mate Kamala Harris on Monday. “There needs to be coordination now or as rapidly as possible to get that done.”

Trump lost the election by a significant margin, amassing 232 electoral votes to Biden’s 306. Many margins in states like Pennsylvania, where Trump has focused much of his efforts to contest the election, were not close, with Biden holding an advantage of more than 60,000 votes in the Keystone State. 

Yet Trump continues to spout evidence-free assertions that the election was stolen from him, concentrating his ire on conspiracy theories involving voting machine companies and large-scale frauds tied to mail-in ballots. 

Biden said the president’s behavior is more embarrassing then detrimental in most regards, though cooperation over the vaccine rollout is imperative. 

“It’s more embarrassing for the country than debilitating to my efforts to get started,” Biden said Monday morning. 

Biden also touted his ability to bring leaders of the corporate world together with labor leaders to discuss the best way to get the American economy on track, as millions of workers remain unemployed and several small businesses continue to founder on the brink of ruin. 

“We can come together around the same table and advance areas of common interest,” Biden said. 

But Biden also said Congress and the president need to work together now to put together another round of stimulus funds to help the American worker and small business entrepreneurs. 

“The money is there,” Biden said of another round of pandemic relief. 

He also said the federal government, which unlike cities and states is allowed to spend even with a deficit, should distribute some of its funds to states and local governments to help them balance their budgets, saying many police officers, firefighters and mental health workers are on the verge of losing their jobs to the detriment of the communities they serve. 

It was the first economic speech Biden delivered since winning enough electoral votes to become president and echoed many of the commitments he set out during his campaign. 

He said he wants to build a greener infrastructure, moving away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy and creating good paying union jobs in the process. 

“It’s time to reward work, not just wealth in America,” he said. 

He talked about leveraging federal dollars to aid in the construction of infrastructure projects while investing $100 billion in the nation’s “crumbling schools.”

He said that he told corporate leaders that he met with that he would be a pro-union president, but not an anti-business one.

“It’s not anti-business, it’s just good economic policy,” he said. 

In hosting an economic roundtable, Biden was very keen to show he met with business and union leaders. 

“It’s really encouraging to get people from business and labor to agree on the way forward,” he said.

Roundtable participants included Richard Trumka, president of AFL-CIO; Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors; SEUI president Mary Kay Henry; Satya Nadella, president and CEO of Microsoft;; Rory Gamble, president of UAW, Brian Cornell, CEO and board chairman of Target;  UFCW president Marc Perrone, President of UFCW; AFSCME president Lee Saunders; and Sonia Syngal, CEO of Gap.

The roundtable was not open to the general press and was conducted via Zoom. 

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris both appeared in person at the Queen Theater in Willington, Delaware, where Biden has stayed during the transition period as the pandemic continues to spread unabated throughout nearly every corner of the country. 

According to Biden, getting the pandemic under control will be the key to getting the economy growing once again. 

“Getting the vaccine and getting vaccinated are two different things,” he said. “We need a distribution plan to make sure things can smoothly move forward.”

For that to happen, the transition team needs access to information regarding the current state of play for Operation Warp Speed, the president-elect said. 

So far, there are no indications Trump is willing to cooperate. 

Follow @@MatthewCRenda
Categories / Economy, Health, Politics

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