Biden: 'More people may die' of COVID-19 if Trump doesn't cooperate with transition
President-elect Joe Biden on Monday called on Congress to immediately pass a COVID-19 stimulus package and admonished President Donald Trump for not providing economic relief to struggling Americans in the final days of his presidency.
“The idea the president is still playing golf and not doing anything about it is beyond my comprehension," Biden said at The Queen in Wilmington. "At least think you want to go off on a positive note."
In his first remarks on the economy since the election, Biden called for Congress to pass a relief package that is similar to the $3 trillion coronavirus bill the U.S. House of Representatives passed in the spring. The legislation has been dormant in the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate.
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris met with labor and corporate leaders earlier Monday afternoon, including Richard Trumka of AFL–CIO, Mary Barra of General Motors and Satya Nadella of Microsoft.
In his remarks, Biden said union and corporate leaders were “singing from the same hymnal” during the meeting, and agreed that American workers need immediate relief.
These comments came more than a week after Biden became president-elect, and Trump has yet to officially concede. More Republicans have vocalized in recent days that Biden won the election.
When answering questions from reporters last week, Biden said it was an “embarrassment” that Trump and the White House have yet to acknowledge the results of the election.
Biden said it will not stop him moving forward with his transition despite not having access to the customary government funding and classified intelligence briefings. He noted that Harris still has access to intelligence briefings because she serves on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee.
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The biggest threat to his transition, Biden said, is that “more people may die” of COVID-19 if the Trump administration doesn’t allow work with the president-elect and his transition team.
“I am hopeful that the president will be mildly more enlightened before we get to January 20,” Biden said.
With COVID-19 cases surging again in the United States, including here in Delaware, the Bidens, like millions of Americans, spent the morning trying to figure out what they will do for Thanksgiving — and who will get the invite, the president-elect said.
He said that he and his family will follow the advice of public health officials, which includes keeping gatherings small, wearing masks and social distancing.
Biden again called for a national mask mandate and urged local leaders to require residents to wear a mask when out in public.
"There's nothing macho about not wearing a mask," he said.
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