Sunday June 20th, 2021 12:07AM

Biden chides Trump for lack of cooperation on vaccine

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden met Thursday with governors from both parties and criticized President Donald Trump’s unprecedented attempt to block the peaceful transition of power, saying it was hindering the flow of information about programs to develop a vitally important coronavirus vaccine.

“Unfortunately, my administration hasn’t been able to get everything we need,” Biden said during a video conference with the National Governors Association’s leadership team, which consists of five Republicans and four Democrats.

His remarks highlighted the stakes of the Trump administration’s refusal to begin a formal transfer of power to Biden’s team. Besides being a pillar of American democracy, it is especially important this year since Biden will be inheriting responsibility for managing the worst public health crisis in a century. The president-elect also has been denied access to other critical information, including security briefings.

Participating from a theater in Wilmington, Delaware, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Biden specifically cited Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s partnership with private pharmaceutical companies to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We haven’t been able to get into Operation Warp Speed, but we will take what we learned today and build it into our plan,” Biden said in remarks after the meeting, which included Republicans Larry Hogan of Maryland, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, Kay Ivey of Alabama, Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Gary Herbert of Utah.

Afterward, Biden spoke about distribution of a vaccine once one is ready, saying, “There has to be a prioritization.”

“That’s why I’d like to know exactly what this administration has in mind in terms of their Operation Warp Speed and how they plan it,” he said of the Trump White House. “And that’s what we talked about with the governors today. They all mentioned the need to focus on the communities that have been left behind.”

Even as he warned of the gravity of the situation, however, Biden reiterated his previous pledges not to institute a nationwide shutdown to curb the virus’s spread, and repeated that more states instituting mask-wearing mandates could save tens of thousands of lives.

An hourlong briefing by the White House coronavirus task force that also took place Thursday made no mention of the incoming administration or Trump's refusal to coordinate with Biden on plans to distribute upcoming vaccines.

But it did reinforce Biden’s tough-love message to the American people, including warnings that a “dark winter” is coming as virus cases spike across the country. Task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx sounded the alarm over the rate of new infections — sharper than the surge this summer or even the initial outbreak last spring.

While there have been improvements in treatment protocols and new therapeutics, tens of thousands of people — or more — will die before vaccines are widely available, she said.

After the virtual meeting with the governors, Biden took questions from reporters and revealed he'd decided on a treasury secretary nomination for his new administration. He refused to provide more details, except to say it was a choice that would satisfy Democrats from across the political spectrum — presumably including outspoken progressives who worried Biden might go for a safer, more moderate selection.

Among the Democrats on the videoconference was Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, which is among the states Trump has targeted for unfounded claims of voter fraud. Biden nonetheless vowed to rise above politics in a unified front against the virus.

“There’s a real desire for real partnership between the states and the federal government,” Biden said.

He said he'd forgo a national shutdown “because every region, every area, every community can be different.”

Instead, Biden noted that 10 governors have imposed statewide mask mandates to combat the virus, calling wearing face coverings a “patriotic duty.” He's previously vowed to ask all governors to impose such rules and go around holdouts to local and county officials to cover as much of the U.S. as possible.

Ivey told videoconference participants that both parties in Congress need to come together to provide more coronavirus response funding, according to a readout provided by her office. It made no mention of the Alabama governor recognizing Biden as president-elect.

Hutchison of Arkansas, by contrast, said over the weekend that Biden would be the next president. He's also called on the Trump administration to give Biden access to the intelligence briefings he needs to be fully prepared to lead the country on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day.

Hogan told The Associated Press recently that Trump’s wild and unsupported claims of widespread voter fraud were “dangerous” and “embarrassing.”

“As I said on the day that the president-elect was declared the winner, his election has provided a mandate for cooperation,” the Maryland governor said after the virtual meeting with Biden. "We look forward to working closely with the Biden-Harris administration as we continue to face this unprecedented global pandemic.”

Still, some in his party considering the election settled didn't stop Trump on Thursday from coming out with a new round of false claims of voter fraud in key states.

With Trump dug in and Republicans on Capitol Hill largely unwilling to challenge him, Biden has been forced to turn to a diverse collection of outside allies to ratchet up the pressure on the president to concede.

The CEOs of America's largest companies have released a statement recognizing Biden and Harris as the clear winners. The heads of the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association issued a joint statement on Tuesday urging the Trump administration to share “all critical information related to COVID-19” with Biden. Not doing so, they warned, would jeopardize American lives.

Trump, meanwhile, has been getting nowhere in the courts, and his scattershot effort to overturn Biden’s victory is shifting toward obscure election boards that certify the vote. The battle is centered in the states that sealed Biden’s win. Two Republican election officials in Michigan's largest county initially refused to certify results despite no evidence of fraud.

The officials then backtracked and voted to certify before flipping again and saying they “remain opposed to certification.”

Biden said that Trump's refusal to accept the election results has left Americans “witnessing incredible irresponsibility" and that the president's actions in Michigan were particularly troubling.

“What the president’s doing now is going to be another incident where he will go down in history as being one of the most irresponsible presidents," Biden said.


Weissert reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report from Washington.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Pfizer, BioNTech seek emergency vaccine approval
Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech will seek emergency government approval for their coronavirus vaccine, as the U.S. aims to begin administering doses by the end of the year
6:08PM ( 10 minutes ago )
More than 100 displaced after fire ravages California town
A week before Thanksgiving, more than 100 residents have been displaced by a wind-whipped wildfire that ravaged a remote mountain community in California and killed one person
6:02PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Biden chides Trump for lack of cooperation on vaccine
President-elect Joe Biden is criticizing President Donald Trump’s unprecedented attempt to block the peaceful transition of power at the White House, saying it has hindered the flow of information about programs to fast-track a coronavirus vaccine
5:52PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump summons Michigan GOP leaders for extraordinary meeting
President Donald Trump has summoned Michigan’s Republican legislative leaders to the White House for an extraordinary meeting Friday
5:36PM ( 43 minutes ago )
Georgia to release report on presidential race hand tally
Georgia election officials expect to release a report Thursday on a hand tally of the presidential race
5:23PM ( 55 minutes ago )
Trump, allies make frantic steps to overturn Biden victory
President Donald Trump and his allies are taking increasingly frantic steps to subvert the results of the 2020 election, including summoning state legislators to the White House as part of a longshot bid to overturn Joe Biden’s victory
5:08PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Tyson suspends Iowa plant managers amid virus betting claim
Tyson Foods has suspended top officials at its largest pork plant and launched an investigation into allegations that they bet on how many workers would get infected during a widespread coronavirus outbreak
3:17PM ( 3 hours ago )
Native American votes helped secure Biden's win in Arizona
Turnout on tribal land in northern Arizona surged this year, helping Joe Biden carry a state that hadn't gone to a Democrat since 1996
3:12PM ( 3 hours ago )
Trump's election lawsuits plagued by elementary errors
When President Donald Trump sends lawyers to court, it seems he’s not sending his best
2:46PM ( 3 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
The Latest: Pence offers positive COVID-19 assessment in US
Vice President Mike Pence is offering an upbeat assessment of the status of the coronavirus in the U.S., despite a surge in cases, hospitalizations and more than a quarter of a million deaths
5:04PM ( 1 hour ago )
Court upholds nuisance verdicts against hog-production giant
An appeals court has upheld a 2018 jury verdict that led to monetary awards for neighbors of an eastern North Carolina industrial hog operation for its smells and noise
4:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
Stocks rise amid investors’ tug of war between hope, fear
Stocks ended higher, shaking off a weak start and nearly erasing the S&P 500's losses for the week
4:40PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
The Latest: Louisiana urged to increase virus restrictions
The White House’s coronavirus advisers are urging Louisiana to step up its restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19, as the number of hospitalized virus patients in the state edged higher Thursday amid a third wave of infections
3:48PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: CDC urges Americans to avoid Thanksgiving travel
The CDC is urging Americans not to travel and to spend Thanksgiving with people in the same household
3:17PM ( 3 hours ago )
Stocks drift amid investors’ tug of war between hope, fear
U.S. stock indexes are mixed Thursday, as Wall Street’s tug of war continues between worries about the worsening pandemic in the present and optimism that a vaccine will come in the future
2:09PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Global markets drop on concern about rising infection rates
Global stock markets are mostly lower amid anxiety over the economic fallout from surging coronavirus cases
7:34AM ( 10 hours ago )
The Latest: Germany reports slowdown in COVID-19 spread
Germany’s disease control agency says the coronavirus situation in the country remains serious but there are signs that lockdown measures are slowing the spread of the virus
5:33AM ( 12 hours ago )
The Latest: China's Xi calls for cooperation on vaccine
Chinese President Xi Jinping is calling for closer international cooperation on making a vaccine for the coronavirus available
4:10AM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Business - Health Care
Tyson suspends Iowa plant managers amid virus betting claim
Tyson Foods has suspended top officials at its largest pork plant and launched an investigation into allegations that they bet on how many workers would get infected during a widespread coronavirus outbreak
6:07PM ( 14 minutes ago )
More than 100 displaced after fire ravages California town
A week before Thanksgiving, more than 100 residents have been displaced by a wind-whipped wildfire that ravaged a remote mountain community in California and killed one person
6:02PM ( 19 minutes ago )
The Latest: Fauci wants to 'settle concerns' about vaccine
Infection disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says “he wants to settle” concerns about a coronavirus vaccine as he returns to the White House podium for the first time in months
5:48PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Minor discrepancies at heart of GOP effort to overturn vote
Poll book problems, unbalanced precincts and false reads are at the heart of the Republican Party's long shot efforts to toss out thousands of votes in Detroit and other largely Black cities that contributed to Joe Biden’s victory in Michigan
5:43PM ( 38 minutes ago )
The Latest: EU official: 2 vaccines could be authorized soon
The European Union’s top official sayw two COVID-19 vaccines could receive conditional market authorization as early as the second half of December
5:36PM ( 44 minutes ago )