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Dublin: 2°C Monday 12 April 2021

Joe Biden warns 'more people may die' from Covid-19 if Trump refuses to concede US election

Trump continues to insist that he has won the US election.

Image: C-Span/PA

US PRESIDENT-ELECT Joe Biden has warned that “more people may die” without immediate co-ordination on fighting the coronavirus pandemic if Donald Trump refuses to accept the country’s election result.

The incoming president expressed frustration about Trump’s refusal so far to co-operate on the White House transition process.

He warned that US deaths from Covid-19 could increase if issues like distributing vaccines to Americans as quickly as possible were hampered by the transition.

“If we have to wait until [inauguration day] 20 January to start that planning, it puts us behind for a month, a month and a half,” he said.

“And so it’s important that there be coordination now — now, or as rapidly as we can get that done.”

Nearly two weeks after the presidential election, Trump has insisted that he won and has made unsubstantiated claims of mass fraud even as Biden had unassailable leads in key states and a major edge in the popular vote.

While Biden is set to take over on 20 January regardless of whether Trump admits defeat, the General Services Administration – the usually low-profile agency that manages the federal bureaucracy – has refused to certify Biden as the winner.

The move has resulted in Biden being denied classified briefings and resources for the transition.

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However, US national security adviser Robert O’Brien, who coordinates all national security matters at the White House, today promised a smooth transition to a new administration under Biden.

O’Brien noted that the United States has had “peaceful, successful transitions even in the most contentious periods”, saying the Biden campaign had “very professional folks” capable of taking over.

“They deserve some time to come in and implement their policies,” he said.

© AFP 2020

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