‘More people may die’: Biden talks tough on Trump obstruction

US President-elect Joe Biden warned Monday of terrible loss of human lives if the Donald Trump administration continues to stonewall on a smooth transition of power.

Biden warned that if his team risks being “behind, over a month, month and a half” if Trump refuses to help the transition along. The “huge, huge undertaking,” of vaccine distribution will be badly hit, Biden told reporters during a news conference in Wilmington, Delaware.

“More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” Biden said.

Fresh off his election victory, Biden is talking tougher each day on the virus and the economy.

Trump, who continues to insist that the 2020 election was “rigged” and “stolen”, has refused to work with the Biden transition team on crucial issues including next steps on coronavirus vaccine distribution, national security and matters of economic policy.

Biden’s remarks come on a day when a second vaccine is on the horizon. Moderna announced today that its vaccine candidate has achieved almost 95 percent efficacy in clinical trials.

Pfizer has achieved 90 per cent efficacy and announced results on November 9.

Pfizer is not part of Trump’s vaccine coordination plan called Operation Warp Speed. Moderna is.

The Trump administration is working out its own distribution plan and the Biden team has begun a parallel planning track because of Trump’s all-out blockade to the transition process.

“So it’s important that it be done, that there be coordination now, now, as rapidly as we can get that done,” Biden said.

The incoming Biden administration has made it clear that controlling the pandemic, which is surging to record levels, remains its top priority.

“Once we shut down the virus and deliver economic relief to workers and businesses, then we can start to build back better than before.”

The coronavirus has killed more than 246,000 Americans and sickened more than 11 million since it first arrived in the country on January 21, 2020. More than one million cases have been reported in the last week alone.