The White House and President Donald Trump were silent on Wednesday as the nation went over 250,000 Coronavirus deaths in less than a year, as the Trump Administration continues to ignore President-Elect Joe Biden and his team, offering no information to help the next administration on the fight against the virus outbreak.
“I am optimistic, but we should be further along,” Biden said of the non-existent transition.
“We’ve been unable to get access to the kinds of things we need to know about,” Biden added. “Unless it’s made available soon, we’re going to be behind by weeks or months.”
The lack of communication has alarmed public health experts inside and outside of government, who say it could lead to unnecessary deaths.
“A presidential transition is like a relay race, and any stumble, fumble, or miss with the pass of the baton can cost lives,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, a former head of the Centers for Disease Control.
“I can say that transitions are extremely important to the smooth continuity of whatever you’re doing,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, as Fauci made clear he wants to start that outreach with the next President.
But with President Trump refusing to acknowledge defeat, no transition work is happening yet, leaving Biden officials in the dark as to what measures are being taken by the federal government on the outbreak and a vaccine.
The lack of cooperation and action comes as the virus surge is causing a big increase in case, hospitalizations and deaths from the Coronavirus.
+ The 7-day average of new daily Coronavirus cases is now over 160,000 new cases per day. Just a month ago, that figure was 55,000 per day.
+ Hospitalizations continue to set records, now pushing over 79,000 patients.
+ Deaths have increased past the summer virus surge to levels not seen since early May, as the 7-day average is up almost 400 per day so far in November, to 1,221 deaths per day.
In Congress, Democrats denounced the President as the nation hit a quarter of a million deaths.
“250,000 Americans lost to this virus is an unimaginable milestone,” said Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL).
“The President & his admin have failed the American people at critical points of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
“Over the coming weeks months, we must do everything we can to keep preventing the spread of COVID-19 and save our hospitals from being overwhelmed,” said Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD).