American President-elect Joe Biden is moving quickly to set up his future administration and discuss policy issues. The move comes as President Donald Trump continues to dismiss the election results, taking legal actions and demanding recounts.
Speaking Monday from Wilmington, Delaware, Biden said, “This election is over. It’s time to put aside the partisanship and the rhetoric.”
He also spoke about the COVID-19 health crisis. “It doesn’t matter your party, your point of view," he said. "We can save tens of thousands of lives if everyone would just wear a mask for the next few months. Not Democratic or Republican lives — American lives.”
Biden said, “the goal is to get back to normal as fast as possible.” He cheered the results announced of Pfizer's vaccine trial as “great news.” But he warned that it would be many more months before the vaccine is widely available.
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have been meeting with 13 scientists and public health experts expected to lead the next administration’s COVID-19 effort. The group includes former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Yale University public health care expert Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith.
Besides fighting COVID-19, Biden and Harris said the goals of the new administration include economic recovery, racial equality and new climate change policies.
During the campaign, Biden repeatedly said he will return the United States to the Paris climate agreement and support the World Health Organization. He also promised to revisit the Iranian nuclear agreement and rebuild relations with NATO allies.
Biden also plans to change current immigration policies, raise taxes on the wealthy and expand health care.
Trump dismisses election results
With 270 Electoral College votes needed to win, Biden now has 279 and he continues to lead vote counts in Arizona and Georgia. Biden has received more than 75 million votes overall and Trump, 71 million.
The Trump campaign has dismissed the election results so far, saying, “This election is far from over.” It said it would begin to argue in court Monday “to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.” Courts in several states already have rejected a number of the campaign’s legal actions.
President Trump is facing increasing pressure to concede the election.
On Sunday, George W. Bush, the only living Republican former president called Biden and Harris to congratulate them on their victory. Bush said in a statement, "The President-elect reiterated that while he ran as a Democrat, he will govern for all Americans. I offered him the same thing I offered Presidents Trump and Obama: my prayers for his success, and my pledge to help in any way I can."
The General Services Administration is the agency responsible for helping with the process of putting a new administration in place. As of Monday, it had not started the process nor received any guidance on when to do so.
Trump continued to question the election results and the voting process on the social media site Twitter. On Monday, the president also announced he had dismissed the Secretary of Defense from office. He wrote on Twitter, “Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.”
The U.S. Constitution and federal law have established a process to seat a president-elect.
American states will meet on December 8 to choose electors who will vote for the winner of the presidential election. On December 14, the electors will meet to vote in a process known as the Electoral College.
The entire U.S. Congress will meet on January 6, 2021 to officially count the Electoral College votes. The president-elect will be sworn in on January 20 at noon.
I'm Caty Weaver.
Hai Do wrote this story for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.
Words in This Story
partisanship - n. a person who strongly supports a particular leader, group, or cause
rhetoric - n. language that is intended to influence people and that may not be honest or reasonable
mask - n. a covering used to protect your face or cover your mouth
concede - v. to admit that you have been defeated
reiterate - v. to repeat something you have already said in order to emphasize it
pledge - n. a serious and formal promise
terminate - v. to take a job away from someone