‘People may die’ if Trump continues to obstruct handover, says Biden

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Washington: US president-elect Joe Biden has warned that more Americans could die of COVID-19 if the Trump administration continues to refuse to co-ordinate its vaccine distribution plan with his transition team.

Biden also hit out at Donald Trump for playing golf several times since the election rather than work with Congress to pass a financial support package to help Americans struggling with the economic fallout of the pandemic.

President-elect Joe Biden said he hoped Donald Trump would become “mildly more enlightened” as inauguration day approaches. Credit:AP

"More people may die if we don't coordinate," Biden said on Tuesday (AEDT) when asked about the risks of the Trump administration's refusal to recognise him as the incoming president and participate in a handover process.

"If we have to wait until January 20 to start that planning, it puts us behind…It's important that there be coordination now."

Biden was echoing statements by his most senior adviser, incoming White chief-of-staff Ron Klain, and top infectious disease doctor Anthony Fauci in recent days.

Klain said US government officials were making plans to begin distributing limited supplies of a vaccine before the end of the year, and it was vital for the incoming Biden team to have access to their plans.

Ron Klain has warned of the need for coordination between the Biden Administration and the Trump Administration.Credit:AP

"Our experts need to talk to those people as soon as possible so nothing drops in this change of power we’re going to have on January 20th," he said on Meet the Press.

"It’s great to have a vaccine, but vaccines don’t save lives: vaccinations save lives. And that means you’ve got to get that vaccine into people’s arms all over this country. It’s a giant logistical project."

Asked about co-ordinating with the incoming Biden administration, Fauci said: "Of course it would be better if we could start working with them."

Coronavirus has caused 246,854 deaths in the US to date, amid a confused and contradictory response between the federal, state and local governments.

With coronavirus cases spiking across the US as winter approaches, Biden called for the Trump administration to work with Congress to pass a major economic relief bill.

"The idea the president is still playing golf and not doing anything about it is beyond my comprehension," Biden said.

"You'd at least think he'd want to go out on a positive note."

Biden said he hoped that Trump, who continues to deny losing the election, will become "mildly more enlightened" before inauguration day on January 20.

Trump continues to make baseless claims about election fraud, such as this tweet on Tuesday (AEDT): "The Radical Left Democrats, working with their partner, the Fake News Media, are trying to STEAL this Election. We won’t let them!"

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