Biden continues transition as Trump fights election results

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A transition official told CNN that although President Donald Trump rejected the election results and fought them with legal demands, work to prepare for a Biden administration “continues at full speed today.” .

Biden’s website BuildBackBetter.com, after releasing a minimal version earlier in the week, now includes four ‘administrative priorities’ for the next presidency: Covid-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change .

The official said agency review teams, groups of Biden assistants assigned to each federal agency, will begin their work this week, “accessing federal agencies at the appropriate time.” It is not known whether this access will be granted as Trump denies the election results.

“Overall, we will continue to lay the foundation for the new Biden-Harris administration to successfully restore faith and confidence in our institutions and lead the federal government,” the official said.

The website presents a seven-point plan to fight the coronavirus, including “regular, reliable and free testing” to all Americans, “efficient and equitable distribution of treatments and vaccines” when available and in collaboration with governors and mayors to implement a nationwide mask mandate.

“The American people deserve an urgent, solid and professional response to the growing economic and health crisis caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic,” the site read.

Biden plans to make the coronavirus his top priority during the transition, trying to resolve a campaign issue that dominated the general election.

CNN previously reported that Biden was set to announce his own coronavirus task force on Monday, an announcement that should signify how much the president-elect plans to focus on a pandemic that has reached a record number of infections. daily last week.

The process of preparing for a Biden administration has been underway for months. It is legally required, although the outcome of a presidential election is unclear, and ensures that if a transfer of power is required, it will be possible to lift a federal government in less than three months between election day and the day of the inauguration.

Biden’s team started working over the summer, growing to at least 150 people by November 3. A source familiar with the planned transition told CNN the effort could reach 300 people before the inauguration.

The stakes for the transition are high, given the ongoing pandemic and economic downturn due to the virus, and the possibility that Trump refuses to concede could mean less time for a full transition between the two administrations. Trump has already broken protocol: It’s traditional for the outgoing president to invite the winner of the White House election to discuss a range of issues, including the transition.

Even still, Biden’s transition team has worked behind the scenes with help from Trump officials – namely White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination Chris Liddell, who both worked to prepare themselves as much as possible. put back.

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