Joe Biden to launch Covid task force, Donald Trump plans rallies to protest election


US President-elect Joe Biden will convene a coronavirus task force on Monday. (FILE)

Washington / Wilmington:

US President-elect Joe Biden will convene a coronavirus task force on Monday to examine the No.1 problem he faces when he takes office in January, while President Donald Trump is pursuing several long-winded gambits to retain his post.

Biden is due to meet with an advisory committee co-chaired by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Yale University Associate Professor Marcella Nunez-Smith to consider how best to tame a pandemic that has killed more than 237,000 people. Americans.

The former Democratic vice president will then deliver remarks in Wilmington, Delaware on his plans to fight COVID-19 and rebuild the economy.

“Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts,” Biden said in a statement Monday.

The group of scientists and experts will liaise with local and state officials on the response to the pandemic, including on how to safely reopen schools and businesses and tackle racial disparities.

These include Rick Bright, who was fired as head of a federal agency called the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority earlier this year, and Luciana Borio, who specializes in complex public health emergencies.

Trump has clashed frequently with senior health officials during the pandemic. Vice President Mike Pence is due to meet with the White House Coronavirus Task Force on Monday for the first time since October 20.

Biden crossed the 270 Electoral College vote threshold needed to win the White House on Saturday, four days after the Nov. 3 election. He defeated Trump by more than 4 million votes nationwide, making Trump the first president since 1992 to lose reelection.

But Trump has not admitted defeat and has launched a series of lawsuits to assert allegations of electoral fraud for which he has produced no evidence. State officials say they are not aware of any significant irregularities.

Trump has no public events scheduled for Monday and has not spoken in public since Thursday. He plans to hold rallies to bolster his support for his challenge to the election results, campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said.

Biden’s advisers are moving forward and considering candidates for top Cabinet positions. But the transition can’t be shifted into high gear until the U.S. General Services Administration, which oversees federal ownership, certifies the winner.

Emily Murphy, the person Trump-appointed who runs the agency, has yet to do so and a GSA spokeswoman has given no timeline for the decision.

Until then, the GSA can continue to provide the Biden team with offices, computers, and background checks for security clearances, but it cannot yet enter federal agencies or access federal funds put in. side for the transition.

The Biden campaign on Sunday urged the agency to move forward.


“The national security and economic interests of the United States depend on the federal government making a clear and timely signal that the United States government will respect the will of the American people and engage in a harmonious and peaceful transfer of power,” the statement said. campaign in a press release.


Trump, however, has shown no sign that he will embark on a transition.

Murtaugh said Trump would hold a series of rallies to build support for legal fights challenging the outcome, although Murtaugh has not said when and where they will take place.

Trump will seek to substantiate his still unsubstantiated accusations of electoral fraud by highlighting obituaries of deceased people the campaign said they voted in the election, Murtaugh said.

Trump has also announced teams to continue recounts in several states. Experts said the effort, like his lawsuits, is unlikely to be successful.

“The odds of a recount overthrowing tens of thousands of votes in several states in its favor are outside of anything we’ve seen in American history,” William Antholis, director of the Miller Center think tank, wrote Sunday. from the University of Virginia.

Leaders around the world have praised Biden, including some of Trump’s allies, but many of Trump’s Republican colleagues have yet to acknowledge the Democrat’s victory.

Republican attorneys general in Louisiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Oklahoma said they would take legal action on Monday to help the Trump campaign challenge the way Pennsylvania handled postal ballots, a popular option this year for voters seeking to avoid exposure to the coronavirus at crowded polling stations. It was unclear how they would help Trump’s legal team, which is led by David Bossie, a seasoned political activist but not a lawyer.

Pennsylvania, the state that won Biden’s victory on Saturday, was one of the most contested battlegrounds in the election.

Trump has repeatedly criticized postal voting as insecure, although he himself has voted this way in previous elections and election experts say it is as reliable as other methods .

(This story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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