Joe Biden and Donald Trump Photograph:( Reuters )
In the United States, Donald Trump is still blocking the transfer of power. Meanwhile, Joe Biden and his team have sprung into action. On Monday, the President-elect addressed two of America's biggest issues: The economy, and the COVID-19 outbreak
In the United States, Donald Trump is still blocking the transfer of power. Meanwhile, Joe Biden and his team have sprung into action. On Monday, the President-elect addressed two of America's biggest issues: The economy, and the COVID-19 outbreak.
Moderna's jab is showing great promise, offering 94.5 per cent protection from the virus, which means it is time for the administration to think about distribution. This process is likely to take months, and Donald Trump has less than 70 days left in office.
In all likelihood, the Biden administration will have to carry out most of the distribution. But, Donald Trump is not sharing his distribution plan which means the US is headed for a logistical nightmare, which Joe Biden feels could lead to more people losing their lives.
“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”, President-elect Joe Biden said.
Biden also talked tough on the economy, and convened a meeting with America's top CEOs, with Microsoft's Satya Nadella and General Motor's Mary Barra in attendance.
The president-elect's plan focuses on two aspects - Supporting small businesses, and overhauling the tax structure. He wants the wealthiest Americans to pitch in with more, something that he spoke about on the campaign trail.
“You know, it's based on a simple premise. It's time to reward work, not just wealth in America. We're going to have a fair taxes structure that makes sure the wealthiest among us and corporations pay their fair share”, Joe Biden had said.
“When we build back better, we'll do so with higher wages, including a $15 minimum wage nationwide, better benefits, stronger collective bargaining rights that you can raise a family on”, Biden added.
Joe Biden’s message is equitable and fair growth. He claims that corporate America is onboard for this plan. This is a bit tough to believe, since these companies have been evading taxes for years. Getting some of these reforms past a republican senate does not look easy. And Biden needs Trump to concede. Donald Trump's position has not changed in the last 24 hours. He still believes the election was rigged and that he won.
But what about his subordinates?
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made his stance clear. He says he is preparing for a second Trump term. Pompeo is currently on a 7-nation tour after starting off in France, and is now in Turkey. He is also slated to visit the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel. Most of these countries have already congratulated Joe Biden, and have recognised him as the next president.
But national security adviser Robert O’Brien is a bit more circumspect. He admitted that Biden and Harris are likely to occupy the White House come next year.
“Well, we're still in office so I'll probably hold off on the op-eds for a while. And i want to get --- if there is a new administration, look they deserve some time to come in and implement their policies. We may have policy disagreements, but look, if the Biden-Harris ticket is determined to be the winner and it's obviously things look that way now, we'll have a very professional transition from the national security council. There's no question about it”, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said.
Before election night, American political pundits had one major concern. If Trump were to lose how would he govern until the January 20.
Early indications say that these worries were legitimate. Trump is accelerating troop withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. He wants troops back home by January 15 - five days before the inauguration.
Even Trump's ally Mitch McConnel does not approve, who feels America is ceding space to terrorist elements in the region. Another report claims Trump was considering attacking Iran last week. He asked his military experts for options. The target was Iran's main nuclear site.
His advisers ultimately managed to dissuade Trump from starting a war. Presidential transitions have always been a prickly affair. In recent years, there has been a tradition of the outgoing president leaving letters for the incoming leader. But it seems unlikely this time.