President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are now looking beyond the election to the transition.
They have launched a website listing the key priorities that the incoming administration will try to address — the coronavirus pandemic, the economic recovery, racial equity and climate change.
Biden will unveil a team of scientists and experts on Monday who will advise his incoming administration on their response to the pandemic.
President Donald Trump has so far refused to concede the election and vowed legal battles. However, former President George W. Bush, the last Republican to occupy the White House before Trump, has sought to reassure Americans that the country held a free and fair election in which Biden won.
Gottlieb: Biden will take office at Covid-19 ‘apex’; forget normal inauguration
Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said that Covid-19 will likely be peaking as Biden takes office early next year.
“By the time the president-elect takes office, we’ll probably be at the apex of what we’re going through right now,” Gottlieb said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
“This is going to play out over the next couple of months,” Gottlieb said.
“I think as the president takes office, we will be coming down the other side of the epidemic curve, hopefully, and the only question is going to be how many people died in the course of this and how many people have been infected, and we have to keep those numbers down as much as possible,” he added.
Gottlieb also said the nation won’t be able to have a traditional inauguration for the president-elect, with tens of thousands of people crammed in the U.S. capital in January.
“I don’t think we’re going to be able to bring large crowds together for an inauguration,” Gottlieb said. “We’re going to be right in the thick probably of the worst point of this epidemic wave that we’re going through right now.”
Biden is set to announce a Covid-19 task force on Monday. Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith of Yale University will co-chair the panel, NBC News reported, citing a Biden campaign official.
Cases of the virus have been surging in recent days, with 126,480 new cases recorded on Friday and 126,742 on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
— Tucker Higgins
A ‘huge relief’ but ‘Trumpism lives on’: International media on Biden’s win
International media erupted with headlines over the weekend announcing former Vice President Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 U.S. presidential race, many depicting the world breathing a sigh of relief after several tense days of a prolonged vote count.
The U.K.’s Sunday Times ran the headline “Sleepy Joe wakes up America,” describing “joyous scenes after days of deadlock.”
French newspaper Le Monde wrote: “American Elections 2020: Joe Biden’s victory sparks huge relief in Europe.” Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post ran an article entitled, “Asian leaders see renewed hope in Biden and return to multilateralism.”
But despite celebratory tones from some, headlines also depicted a president-elect facing a divided nation.
Germany’s Der Spiegel ran the headline: “Joe Biden’s Almost Impossible Task,” describing the Democratic victory as a “ripple, not a wave.” “Even if Joe Biden emerges victorious,” the magazine’s journalists wrote, “the peaceful transfer of power still isn’t yet a foregone conclusion,” adding that “Biden would face the almost impossible task of reuniting a deeply divided nation.”
Many papers focused on the enduring legacy of the now lame-duck Trump, who is refusing to accept Biden’s victory and is launching legal challenges in several states.
“Donald Trump may have become one of the few US presidents to have lost re-election, but Trumpism lives on,” the U.K.’s BBC wrote.
AOC says Democrats blaming progressives for House losses are being irresponsible
Centrist Democrats who are blaming progressives in the wake of losses for the party in Tuesday’s elections for the House of Representatives are being “irresponsible,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said.
“We have a slimmer Democratic majority. It’s going to be more important than ever for us to work together and not fight each other,” Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“And so when we come out swinging not 48 hours after Tuesday, when we don’t even have solid data yet, pointing fingers and telling each other what to do, it deepens the division in the party and it’s irresponsible — it’s irresponsible to pour gasoline on these already very delicate tensions in the party,” she added.
Some moderate members of the House Democratic caucus blamed the party’s progressives in an hours long conference call held on Thursday.
“We need to not ever use the word ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again. … We lost good members because of that,” Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., said on the call, according to The Washington Post, which obtained a recording of it. Spanberger is leading in her race for reelection but NBC News has not called a winner.
Ocasio-Cortez pushed back on that narrative. On Sunday, she noted that every lawmaker representing a swing district who co-sponsored “Medicare for All,” the progressive proposal to overhaul America’s health-care system, was reelected.
NBC News projects Democrats to hold their majority in the House but with a smaller margin than they had going into the election.
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