WASHINGTON/WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) – President-elect Joe Biden will convene a coronavirus task force on Monday to examine the No. 1 problem confronting him when he takes office in January, while President Donald Trump pursues several long-shot gambits to hold on to his job.
U.S. President elect Joe Biden
Biden is due to meet with an advisory board led by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler to examine how best to tame a pandemic that has killed here more than 237,000 Americans.
The Democratic former vice president will then give remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, about his plans for tackling COVID-19 and rebuilding the economy. He spent much of the campaign criticizing Trump’s handling of the crises and has vowed to listen to scientists to guide his own approach.
Trump has frequently clashed with top health officials over the pandemic. Vice President Mike Pence is due to meet with the White House coronavirus task force on Monday for the first time since Oct. 20.
Biden clinched the presidency on Saturday, four days after the Nov. 3 election, clearing the threshold of 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House. He beat Trump by more than 4 million votes nationwide, making Trump the first president to lose re-election since 1992.
But Trump has not acknowledged defeat and has launched an array of lawsuits to press claims of election fraud for which he has produced no evidence. State officials say they are not aware of any significant irregularities.
Trump has no public events scheduled for Monday, and he has not spoken in public since Thursday. As part of a public campaign to question the election results, he is planning to hold rallies to build support for his fight over the outcome, campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said.
Biden’s advisers are moving ahead even still, also considering candidates for top Cabinet posts. But the transition cannot shift into high gear until the U.S. General Services Administration, which oversees federal property, certifies the winner.
Emily Murphy, the Trump appointee who runs the agency, has not given the go-ahead for the transition to begin. A GSA spokeswoman gave no timetable for the decision.