WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is about to ship his first public remarks Friday since his defeat by President-elect Joe Biden, as he seeks to focus on constructive developments within the race for a vaccine for the resurgent coronavirus, whilst he refuses to concede the election.
Trump is about to talk within the Rose Garden because the nation units data for confirmed instances of COVID-19, hospitalizations close to crucial ranges and fatalities climb to the best ranges because the spring.
Public well being consultants fear that Trump’s refusal to take aggressive motion on the pandemic or to coordinate with the Biden crew in the course of the ultimate two months of his presidency will solely worsen the results of the virus and hinder the nation’s skill to swiftly distribute a vaccine subsequent 12 months.
And as instances attain new heights, Trump’s marketing campaign prediction that the U.S. was “rounding the turn” on the pandemic has met a harsh actuality, together with his personal White House turning into the main target of one more outbreak.
Trump’s aggressive journey regardless of the virus has taken its toll on his protectors as effectively. The U.S. Secret Service is experiencing a major variety of instances, many believed to be linked to his rallies within the closing days of the marketing campaign, in keeping with one official.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, in the meantime, stated Trump is “not even at that point yet” in the case of conceding to Biden. Trump has leveled baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, whilst his personal administration has stated there isn’t a proof to help the claims. His aides counsel he’s merely making an attempt to maintain his base of supporters on his aspect in defeat.
Trump spoke with conservative media on Friday, together with Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera, suggesting he would acknowledge the loss solely after exhausting his authorized choices.
“You know, he told me he was a realist,” Rivera stated. “He told me he would do the right thing.”
With greater than 100,000 new confirmed U.S. instances reported each day for greater than per week, Trump has been extra centered on monitoring the rollout of a vaccine, which gained’t be extensively accessible for months. He has fumed that Pfizer deliberately withheld an announcement about progress on its vaccine trial till after Election Day, in keeping with a White House official who was not approved to publicly remark and spoke on situation of anonymity. Pfizer stated it didn’t purposely withhold trial outcomes.
Although the president has persistently performed down the pandemic, which has killed greater than 240,000 Americans and contaminated greater than 10 million individuals within the U.S., public well being consultants expressed fear about Trump’s silence on the troubling spike in instances, in addition to his refusal to start coordination on virus points with Biden’s transition crew.
“It’s a big problem,” stated Dr. Abraar Karan, a world well being specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. “The transition is not going to happen until January, and we are in a complete crisis right now. We already know where this is headed. … It’s not good enough to say we’re going to wait until the next president to address this.”
Trump hasn’t answered questions since earlier than Election Day. That hasn’t slowed his Twitter behavior, however he’s used it nearly completely in current days to rage over the election outcomes and unfold unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud.
By late Thursday afternoon, Trump had tweeted or retweeted greater than three dozen instances that day. Just one was associated to the virus — a retweet of a posting by Sen. David Perdue about Georgia receiving 2,000 vials of a brand new antibody therapy.
White House chief of employees Mark Meadows examined constructive final week after attending an election evening celebration on the White House. Others on the celebration even have examined constructive, together with White House political director Brian Jack, former White House aide Healy Baumgardner and Trump marketing campaign advisers David Bossie and Corey Lewandowski. Lewandowski stated Thursday that he believes he contracted the virus in Philadelphia whereas helping the president’s election problem there.
Biden, for his half, largely framed the election as a referendum on Trump’s dealing with of the pandemic. He has made addressing the virus his prime precedence as he strikes ahead together with his transition. He spoke by telephone Thursday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer concerning the intensifying pandemic and prospects for passage of a COVID-19 aid invoice within the lame duck session of Congress.
Incoming White House chief of employees Ron Klain stated Biden will appoint a “COVID coordinator” who will lead the administration’s pandemic response. Klain, talking on MSNBC Thursday evening, stated the person can have “direct access” to the president and can transient him each day on the pandemic. A crew of individuals beneath the coordinator will supervise vaccine distribution, handle provide chain disruptions and enhance entry to testing.
Lawrence Gostin, a public well being knowledgeable at Georgetown University’s regulation faculty, stated Biden will solely be capable of “scratch the surface” of tackling a pandemic that may very well be a “raging forest fire” by the point he takes workplace on Jan. 20.
He added that even the excellent news on Pfizer’s improvement of a vaccine that confirmed 90% efficacy in early trial outcomes may very well be diminished if Trump doesn’t start coordination efforts with Biden’s crew on how you can roll out the vaccine. Some public well being consultants imagine the duty of persuading Americans to take the vaccine and extensively distributing it may very well be as sophisticated because the vaccine’s improvement.
“I fear the next three months ahead could be the worst we’ve faced during the pandemic,” Gostin stated. “America is like a ship at storm, and the captain has decided to go play golf.”
Madhani reported from Chicago. Associated Press writers Jill Colvin and Alexandra Jaffe contributed to this report.