Story at a glance

  • The group of medical school deans, researchers and prominent medical experts signed onto a letter addressed to General Services Administration Administrator Emily Murphy.
  • They urged Murphy to permit the formal transition process to begin.
  • “With the pandemic worsening nationwide and only two months until the transition of power, every day the transition is delayed is a day the country cannot afford,” the letter said.

A group of nearly 200 public health experts and former officials are warning the Trump administration the delay of the presidential transition of power is putting “American lives at risk.” 

The group of medical school deans, researchers and prominent medical experts signed onto a letter addressed to General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Emily Murphy. 


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Murphy has yet to sign paperwork that would allow President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team access to critical federal resources and personnel related to the COVID-19 pandemic response. Additionally, the Trump administration has yet to reach out to Biden's transition team on the matter. 

“In light of the public health crisis facing the nation, it is imperative that you ascertain Joe Biden as President-elect immediately under the Presidential Transition Act. Doing so will enable the incoming Biden team to liaise with key health officials in the Trump Administration and prepare a robust, coordinated response to the pandemic,” the letter states. 

“With the pandemic worsening nationwide and only two months until the transition of power, every day the transition is delayed is a day the country cannot afford,” the letter said. “Ensuring a rapid and smooth transition will save American lives.” 

On Wednesday, Biden suggested during a virtual roundtable with health care workers the delay of the transition could put his administration weeks behind in distributing a vaccine. 

The presidents of the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association issued a statement Tuesday urging the Trump administration to share critical data and information on the pandemic as soon as possible with the Biden team. 

President Trump has refused to concede the presidential election, citing unsubstantiated claims of election fraud. 

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have started to skyrocket across the country as Americans are likely to gather for Thanksgiving and the holiday season.

More than 157,000 new cases are being reported daily with more than 1,200 deaths. Hospitalizations hit an all-time high Wednesday with nearly 80,000 COVID-19 hospital patients across the country. 


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Published on Nov 19, 2020