For more than a week now, Joe Biden has been remarkably sanguine about Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the presidential election results, deciding, for the most part, not to respond directly to Trump’s delusional tweets that he won a second term of office.
That ended on Monday.
At a press conference during which Biden discussed his plans to address the economic challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic, the new president-elect said that not only was Trump’s continual denial of the election outcome “embarrassing for the country,” but that his refusal to allow the transition process to take place was putting American lives in danger.
“More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” an unusually feisty Biden told reporters, criticizing Trump for withholding crucial information that he said would help the incoming administration combat the coronavirus pandemic and distribute the vaccine once it becomes available. “They say they have this ‘warp speed’ program,” he added, referring to the Trump administration’s vaccine development program, nicknamed Operation Warp Speed. “If we have to wait until Jan. 20 to start that planning, it puts us behind.”
And Biden, who was joined by vice president-elect Kamala Harris, again warned that the vaccine was months away, at the earliest, and that vigilance was still needed. “We’re going into a very dark winter. Things are going to get much tougher before they get easier,” Biden said. “That requires sparing no effort to fight Covid. So that we can open our businesses safely, resume our lives and put this pandemic behind us. It’s going to be difficult, but it can be done.”
In discussing Trump’s refusal to concede, Biden said it was “no change in his modus operandi,” adding, “I find this more embarrassing for the country than debilitating for my ability to get started.” Biden that he was already speaking to world leaders, many of whom have called to congratulate him, and “so we we are moving along knowing what the outcome will be.”