Live election updates: Biden moves ahead with transition; Trump refuses to concede

3 months ago 48

Dylan StablefordD

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, his office announced. In a statement, it said that Carson is "in good spirits and feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery."

Carson attended the election night party at the White House, where nearly all attendees were not wearing masks.

Dylan StablefordD

President Trump gives two thumbs up to supporters as he departs after playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., on Sunday. (Steve Helber/AP)

Dylan StablefordD

Pfizer Inc. said on Monday that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90 percent effective and the company will seek an emergency use authorization, providing hope that a coronavirus vaccine could soon be on the horizon.

President-elect Joe Biden, who is preparing to announce a coronavirus advisory board later Monday, issued a statement saying his public health advisors were briefed on the development Sunday night.

Statement by President-elect Joe Biden on Pfizer's Vaccine Progress

Last night, my public health advisors were informed of this excellent news. I congratulate the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope.

At the same time, it is also important to understand that the end of the battle against COVID-19 is still months away. This news follows a previously announced timeline by industry officials that forecast vaccine approval by late November. Even if that is achieved, and some Americans are vaccinated later this year, it will be many more months before there is widespread vaccination in this country.

This is why the head of the CDC warned this fall that for the foreseeable future, a mask remains a more potent weapon against the virus than the vaccine. Today's news does not change this urgent reality. Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, contact tracing, hand washing, and other measures to keep themselves safe well into next year. Today’s news is great news, but it doesn't change that fact.

America is still losing over 1,000 people a day from COVID-19, and that number is rising — and will continue to get worse unless we make progress on masking and other immediate actions. That is the reality for now, and for the next few months. Today's announcement promises the chance to change that next year, but the tasks before us now remain the same.

Rebecca CoreyR

Via Reuters:

President-elect Joe Biden will convene a coronavirus task force on Monday to examine the No. 1 problem confronting him when he takes office in January, while President Donald Trump pursues several long-shot gambits to hold on to his job.

Biden is due to meet with an advisory board 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 examine how best to tame a pandemic that has killed more than 237,000 Americans.

The Democratic former vice president will then give remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, about his plans for tackling COVID-19 and rebuilding the economy.

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Rebecca CoreyR

A view of the Kremlin's Spasskaya tower and St. Basil's Cathedral in central Moscow on June 29, 2020. (Photo by YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Via Reuters:

The Kremlin said on Monday it would wait for the official results of the U.S. presidential election before commenting on its outcome, and that it had noted incumbent Donald Trump's announcement of legal challenges related to the vote.

President Vladimir Putin has remained silent on the issue since Democrat Joe Biden clinched the presidency on Saturday, four days after the Nov. 3 election, clearing the threshold of 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.

In the vote's run-up, Putin had appeared to hedge his bets, frowning on Biden's anti-Russian rhetoric but welcoming his comments on nuclear arms control. Putin had also defended Biden's son, Hunter, against criticism from Trump.

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Rebecca CoreyR

Rebecca CoreyR

Rebecca CoreyR

President Trump looks out of his car as he drives past supporters outside of the Trump International Golf Club in Sterling, Va., where he returned Sunday for the second time this weekend. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Rebecca CoreyR

Via The New York Times:

President-elect Joe Biden is poised to unleash a series of executive actions on his first day in the Oval Office, prompting what is likely to be a yearslong effort to unwind President Donald Trump’s domestic agenda and immediately signal a wholesale shift in the United States’ place in the world.

In the first hours after he takes the oath of office on the West Front of the Capitol at noon on Jan. 20, Biden has said, he will send a letter to the United Nations indicating that the country will rejoin the global effort to combat climate change, reversing Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord with more than 174 countries.

He has vowed that on Day 1 he will move rapidly to confront the coronavirus pandemic by appointing a “national supply chain commander” and establishing a “pandemic testing board,” similar to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s wartime production panel. He has said he will restore the rights of government workers to unionize. He has promised to order a new fight against homelessness and resettle more refugees fleeing war. He has pledged to abandon Trump’s travel ban on mostly Muslim countries and to begin calling foreign leaders in an attempt to restore trust among the United States’ closest allies.

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Dylan StablefordD

President Trump plays golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling Va., Sunday. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Via the Associated Press:

President Trump never admits defeat. But he faces a stark choice now that Democrat Joe Biden has won the White House: Concede graciously for the sake of the nation or don’t — and get evicted anyway.

After nearly four tortured days of counting yielded a victory for Biden, Trump was still insisting the race was not over. He threw out baseless allegations that the election wasn’t fair and “illegal” votes were counted, promised a flurry of legal action and fired off all-caps tweets falsely insisting he’d “WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT.”

While some in his circle were nudging Trump to concede graciously, many of his Republican allies, including on Capitol Hill, were egging him on or giving him space to process his loss — at least for the time being.

“Trump has not lost,” declared South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham in an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” rejecting the reality of the situation. “Do not concede, Mr. President. Fight hard."

Trump is not expected to formally concede, according to people close to him, but is likely to grudgingly vacate the White House at the end of his term. His ongoing efforts to paint the election as unfair are seen both as an effort to soothe a bruised ego and to show his loyal base of supporters that he is still fighting. That could be key to keeping them energized for what comes next.

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