Biden adviser Ron Klain: Trump stonewalling harming COVID-19 prep
President Trump’s Twitter feed “doesn’t make Joe Biden president or not president” and the General Services Administration’s refusal to green-light the transition could stall COVID-19 vaccine preparations, a top aide to presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden said Sunday.
Ron Klain, who is poised to be Mr. Biden’s chief of staff, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the Democratic nominee “won because he got more votes.”
Mr. Klain said Mr. Biden’s team will begin consulting with Pfizer and other vaccine makers this week but they would like to be able to speak with key officials involved in the vaccine rollout, calling it a “giant logistical project.” He said the GSA’s stonewalling is making that difficult.
“It’s great to have a vaccine, but vaccines don’t save lives. Vaccinations save lives,” Mr. Klain said.
He said coronavirus infections are rising exponentially, so everyday Americans need to step up and support their state and local leaders to avoid a bleak winter while they wait on a pharmaceutical solution.
“The president, the administration, is not going to lead,” Mr. Klain said.
On the economy, Mr. Klain warned that municipalities will begin laying off police officers and other key employees in red and blue states unless Congress acts.
He said Mr. Biden hasn’t spoken to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about the path forward, as the parties disagree over the scope of a stimulus package.
Mr. Klain said he wants Republicans to accept the results of the election. He also declined to criticize House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for holding out for a big relief package.
“It’s time for leaders in both parties to get to business,” he said.
He said voters want to see progress, and “getting COVID aid out there is at the top of that list of actions they want to see.”
On the campaign side, Mr. Klain said he would like for Democrats to win two Senate seats in Georgia but Mr. Biden has a stack of executive orders ready to protect Dreamers and health coverage.
“We have a busy, busy Day One,” Mr. Klain said.