US Election: Joe Biden Pushes Forward With Plans For Office

Source: BBC News

US President-elect Joe Biden is to make handling the COVID pandemic his main concern following his success over Donald Trump, his group says.

Declaring the first steps in quite a while change plan, his team said there would be more testing and Americans would be asked to wear masks.

On Monday, Mr. Biden is required to name a 12-part COVID task force.

Mr. Trump presently can’t seem to yield and Mr. Biden’s success stays a projection as key states are still counting votes.

In any case, the Democrat is moving forward with his arrangements for assuming power in January after major US networks called the election in his favour on Saturday.

That reportedly also includes a slew of executive orders – written orders issued by the president to the federal government that do not require congressional approval – aimed at reversing controversial Trump policies. According to US media:

  • Mr Biden will rejoin the Paris climate agreement, which the US officially left on Wednesday
  • He will reverse the decision to withdraw from the World Health Organization
  • He will end the travel ban on citizens from seven mostly Muslim countries
  • He will reinstate an Obama-era policy of granting immigration status to undocumented migrants who entered the US as children

In his first speech as president-elect on Saturday, Mr Biden said it was “time to heal” the US and vowed “not to divide but to unify” the country. Addressing Trump supporters directly, he said: “We have to stop treating our opponents as enemies.”

He and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris have launched a website for the transition, saying the team will also focus on the economy, handling racism and climate change.

The projected election result means Mr Trump becomes the first one-term president since the 1990s. The Republican president’s campaign has filed a barrage of lawsuits in various states but election officials say there is no evidence that the vote was rigged against him, as he has said.

Then, the General Services Administration, a government agency tasked with recognizing the president and starting the transition process, has so far not done as such.

Its administrator Emily Murphy, who was appointed by Mr Trump, has given no indication when this could happen. Until then, Mr Biden’s transition team cannot access government funds or communicate with the federal agencies it will be staffing.

Media reports proposed senior Republicans stayed isolated over how to respond to Mr. Biden’s triumph, with some declining to publicly acknowledge the result of the ballot..

The Republican leader in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, told Fox News that all recounts and legal challenges should be completed, adding: “Then and only then, America will decide who won the race.”

But former Republican President George W Bush congratulated Mr. Biden on his victory, saying the American public could have certainty that the political decision had been in a general sense reasonable and that its result was clear. He also congratulated Mr. Trump on a hard-fought campaign.

What Happens Next?

Votes in some states are continuing to be counted and results are never official until final certification, which occurs in each state in the weeks following the election.

This must be done before 538 chosen officials (electors) from the Electoral College – which officially decides who wins the election – meet in their state capitals to vote on 14 December.

The electors’ votes usually mirror the popular vote in each state. However, in some states this is not a formal requirement.

The new president is officially sworn into office on 20 January after a transition period to give them time to appoint cabinet ministers and make plans.

The handover of power takes place at a function known as the introduction, which is held on the means of the Capitol working in Washington DC.

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