US president-elect Joe Biden has said “more people may die” if the Trump administration doesn’t help ensure a smooth transfer of power.
Mr Biden also said he is hopeful Mr Trump will be “mildly more enlightened” before the incoming president’s inauguration on 20 January next year.
Despite mounting public pressure, the Trump administration has refused to initiate the traditional transition briefings for the president-elect’s team on national security and policy issues.
Mr Trump is also blocking Mr Biden’s team from being briefed on efforts to control the pandemic and distribute prospective vaccines.
Mr Biden was speaking alongside vice president-elect Kamala Harris from his makeshift headquarters in Delaware on Monday
When asked about the Trump administration’s lack of willingness to work with Mr Biden’s team, the president-elect told reporters: “More people may die if we don’t co-ordinate.
“As my chief of staff would say when we handled ebola – a vaccine is important, but it’s of little use until you’re vaccinated… how do we get over 300 million Americans vaccinated, what’s the game plan?
“It’s a huge undertaking to get it done, prioritise those greatest in need… (the Trump administration) say they have this Warp Speed programme that’s not only dealt with getting vaccines, but also how to distribute this.
“If we have to wait until 20 January to start that planning it puts us behind over a month, a month and a half.”
Mr Trump seemed to acknowledge Mr Biden’s election victory for the first time on Sunday before walking back the remark and repeating false claims of widespread voter fraud.
When asked how his team will prepare to lead the country without help from Mr Trump during the transition, Mr Biden said: “Deal with every individual organisation in the country from business to labour, Republicans and Democrats, to try to pull together a serious and consistent plan so we are ready on day one…
“It would make it a lot easier if the president would participate… I am hopeful that the president will be mildly more enlightened before we get to 20 January.”