President-elect Joe Biden said Monday that more Americans could die if President Donald Trump’s administration doesn’t cooperate with the transition, as Trump continued to block Biden’s team from being briefed on efforts to fight COVID-19.
Speaking to reporters in Wilmington, Del., Biden said, “more people may die if we don’t coordinate” on the pandemic.
The Trump administration has refused to initiate the traditional transition briefings for the incoming president’s team on national security and policy issues. Trump is also blocking Biden’s team from being briefed on efforts to control the pandemic and distribute prospective vaccines.
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris spoke about their plans to revive the U.S. economy, as the country marked 11 million coronavirus cases but stocks /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +1.95% rose on reported vaccine progress.
The president- and vice president-elect focused much of their remarks on combating the coronavirus pandemic. As MarketWatch reports, the U.S. in the last week has averaged 150,265 cases a day , up 81% from the average two weeks ago.
Biden and Harris spoke as Trump has not conceded the election, and is alleging fraud in the results. Monday morning, Trump claimed, “I won the Election” in a tweet, which was flagged by Twitter. Officials in states around the country have said there is no evidence of voter fraud.
Biden and Harris met prior to their speeches with business and labor leaders including General Motors /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM +3.70% CEO Mary Barra, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Microsoft /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT +2.15% CEO Satya Nadella.
“The unity was astounding,” Biden said of his meeting with the leaders.
Biden’s economic plans include spending $2 trillion over four years on clean energy projects and creating millions of new jobs through infrastructure projects. The former vice president has proposed raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations to pay for many of his plans.
“Once we shut down the virus and deliver economic relief to workers and businesses, then we can start to build back better than before,” Biden said.
The scope of Biden’s plans, however, could be severely limited if Republicans retain control of the Senate after a pair of runoff elections on Jan. 5.
Republicans now have 50 Senate seats to Democrats’ 48, and Biden’s party would control the chamber if it won the two Georgia races. A tie would be broken by Harris as vice president.
U.S. stocks rose Monday after Moderna Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite MRNA -0.08% said its vaccine candidate proved highly effective in preventing COVID-19 infections. The news arrived a week after Pfizer Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202877789/composite PFE +0.56% and BioNTech SE /zigman2/quotes/214419716/composite BNTX +1.10% announced an efficacious vaccine candidate.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.