President-elect Joe Biden says that more coronavirus deaths will be the consequence of the Trump administration refusing to share its vaccine distribution plans with his own incoming administration. (Nov. 16)
- What do you see as the biggest threat to your transition right now, given President Trump's unprecedented attempt to obstruct and delay a smooth transfer of power?
JOE BIDEN: More people may die if we don't coordinate. Look, as my chief of staff, Ron Klain, would say, who handled Ebola, a vaccine is important. It's of little use until you're vaccinated. So how do we get the vaccine? How do we get over 300 million Americans vaccinated? What's the game plan? It's a huge, huge, huge undertaking to get it done, prioritize those greatest in need, working our way through it, and also cooperate with the World Health Organization and the rest of the world in dealing with this.
And so they say they have this warp speed program that not only dealt with getting vaccines, but also how to distribute this. If we have to wait until January 20 to start that planning, it puts us behind over a month, month and a half. And so it's important that it be done, that there be coordination now, now or as rapidly as we can get that done.
- So what are you going to do? What options do you have to try and ensure that you are ready to go on day one?
JOE BIDEN: So it would make it a lot easier if the president were to participate. You have a number Republicans suggesting that.
The good news here is my colleague is still on the Intelligence Committee, so she gets intelligence briefings. I don't anymore. So that-- that is, but there's a number of Republicans calling for that. I-- I am hopeful that the president will be mildly more enlightened before we get to January 20.
- And what is your message to Republicans who are backing up the president's refusal to concede? You clearly need to work with them going forward.
JOE BIDEN: My message is, I will work with you. I understand a lot of your reluctance because of the way the president operates, but I-- I've been in contact with and will be in contact with more of them as we move along. And if it has to wait until January 20 to actually become operational, that's a shame, but maybe that's the only way to get it done.