Biden Assesses Cost of Trump's Stonewalling

'More people may die' if the two teams don't coordinate on pandemic, president-elect says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2020 5:03 PM CST
Biden: Without Cooperation, 'More People May Die'
President-elect Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, speaks Monday about economic recovery at the Queen theater in Wilmington, Del.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The Trump administration still isn't cooperating on the transition with President-elect Joe Biden's team, and Biden said Monday that could turn out to be a costly decision. Vaccinating more than 300 million Americans is "a huge, huge, huge undertaking," he said in Delaware, per the the Guardian. If the two sides don't coordinate, he said, "more people may die." Trump has not conceded the election, and he had no public events scheduled for the day, per the Washington Post. Earlier Monday, Biden had met with business and labor leaders, after another vaccine breakthrough had been announced. "Getting the vaccine and a vaccination, though, are two different things," he said, per CNN, and planning can't wait until Jan. 20. "Everyone on our call today agreed that ... the sooner we have access to this administration’s distribution plan the sooner this transition would smoothly move forward."

In an address, Biden called on Congress to pass a pandemic relief package quickly. After his earlier meeting, he said business and organized labor are ready to work together to get the economy going. Only Congress stands in the way, Biden said, while attributing the inaction to both parties. "Refusal of Democrats, Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control," he said. "It's a conscious decision. It’s a choice that we make. If we can decide not to cooperate, we could decide to cooperate." Saying the nation is heading into a "dark winter," Biden said relief needs to pass immediately. "Not tomorrow. Now." Speaking just before Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said: "Now is when the real work begins. The necessary work, the good work, of getting this virus under control, saving lives and beating this pandemic and opening the economy responsibly while rebuilding it." (Trump and Biden welcomed the vaccine announcement differently.)

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