Biden criticizes Trump for lack of cooperation on vaccine

President-elect Joe Biden met with governors of both parties and criticized President Donald Trump’s unprecedented attempt to block a peaceful transition of power in the White House, noting that it has impeded the flow of information about programs to accelerate the development of a coronavirus vaccine.

“Unfortunately, my administration has not been able to receive everything we need,” Biden said during a video conference with leaders of the National Governors Association, a group of five Republicans and four Democrats.

His remarks highlight what is at risk from the Trump administration’s refusal to initiate a formal transfer of power to the Biden team.

In addition to being a pillar of American democracy, the fact is of greater relevance this year because Biden will inherit the responsibility of dealing with the worst public health crisis in a century. The president-elect has also been denied access to other crucial information, including national security reports.

In his participation from a theater in Wilmington, Delaware, and accompanied by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Biden made specific mention of Operation Speed ​​Warp, a federal government alliance with pharmaceutical companies for the development of a vaccine against COVID-19.

“We have not been able to enter Operation Speed ​​Warp, but we will take what we learned today and include it in our plan,” Biden said in remarks at the end of the meeting, which included Republicans Larry Hogan of Maryland, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, Kay Ivey from Alabama, Charlie Baker from Massachusetts and Gary Herbert from Utah.

Later, Biden spoke about the distribution of the vaccine once it is ready, saying, “Priorities have to be set.”

“That is why I would like to know exactly what this administration has in mind in terms of their Operation Warp Speed ​​and how they plan it,” he said of the Trump White House. “And that’s what we talked about today with the governors. They all mentioned the need to focus on the communities that have been left behind. “

Despite warning of the seriousness of the situation, Biden reiterated his previous calls not to implement a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the virus, repeating that thousands of lives could be saved if more states impose a mandatory mask-wearing order. .

At an hour-long briefing of the White House coronavirus task force, no mention was made of the incoming administration or Trump’s refusal to coordinate with Biden on plans to distribute the eventual vaccines.

But that meeting did reinforce the message that Biden has given to the American people, including warnings that a “dark winter” is coming as cases increase across the country. The coordinator of the task force, Dr. Deborah Brix, sounded the alarm about the rate of new infections, which is greater than the rebound of last summer and even the initial outbreak in spring.