After weeks of delay by the administration of President Donald Trump, the transition of President-Elect Joe Biden is now underway. The General Services Administration (GSA) notified Joe Biden and his campaign on Monday that they would start to receive federal resources to begin the transition process.
“To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination,” Trump appointee Emily Murphy, who oversees the GSA, said in a statement. “I did, however, receive threats online, by phone, and by mail directed at my safety, my family, my staff, and even my pets in an effort to coerce me into making this determination prematurely. Even in the face of thousands of threats, I always remained committed to upholding the law.”
In a series of tweets, President Trump seemed to imply that the transition was his idea. "In the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same," Trump wrote.
Joe Biden took to Twitter to share his transition website, which now has a .gov address.
"This final [GSA] decision is a definitive administrative action to formally begin the transition process with federal agencies," Yohannes Abraham, Biden-Harris Transition executive director, said in a statement. "In the days ahead, transition officials will begin meeting with federal officials to discuss the pandemic response, have a full accounting of our national security interests, and gain complete understanding of the Trump administration’s efforts to hollow out government agencies."
President Donald Trump has been doing all he can to dispute the results of the election. The Trump administration has claimed, without evidence, that widespread voter fraud took place. Trump claimed that “major fraud in our nation” was taking place and promised to challenge the election in the Supreme Court.
In response, the Department of Homeland Security came out in defense of the election results.
“The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history,” two committees in charge of overseeing the election said. “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”
President-Elect Biden had said that lives could be lost by delaying the transition period amid the coronavirus pandemic.
During a press conference in his home town of Wilmington in Delaware, Biden was asked: "You spoke about the need to access the outgoing COVID-19 administration plans. What do you see happening given the president's attempt to obstruct a smooth transition of power?"
"More people may die if we don't coordinate," Biden replied. "If we have to wait until January 20 to start that planning, it puts us behind for a month, a month-and-a-half. And so it's important that it be done, that there be coordination now."
"As you battle COVID, we have to make sure that businesses and workers have the tools, the resources, and the national guidance and health and safety standards to operate safely," he added.
Biden said vaccinating the population of the United States was a "huge" problem. He also said that he would need to work with the World Health Organization to sure that the world is vaccinated.
On Trump's refusal to concede, Biden said that he found "this more embarrassing for the country than debilitating for my ability to get started."
The president-elect went on to urge Congress to pass pandemic relief legislation and encouraged the development of further COVID-19 vaccines. "We're going into a very dark winter. Things are going to get much tougher before they get easier," he said.