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Biden, Harris to meet virtually with US mayors amid coronavirus surge

Biden, Harris to meet virtually with US mayors amid coronavirus surge
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President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenMissouri woman seen with Pelosi sign charged in connection with Capitol riots Facebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP MORE plans to speak with mayors on Monday amid the continuing surge of COVID-19 cases in the United States.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris to be sworn in by Justice Sotomayor using Thurgood Marshall's Bible In calling out Trump, Nikki Haley warns of a more sinister threat On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE are scheduled to meet virtually with the United States Conference of Mayors, a nonpartisan organization that includes more than 1,400 leaders of cities in the U.S. whose populations exceed 30,000 people. Biden and Harris will take part in the meeting from Wilmington, Del.

The meeting follows one between Biden, Harris and a bipartisan group of governors last Thursday that focused on how his incoming administration would address the coronavirus pandemic.

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The U.S. is facing a massive increase in COVID-19 cases, reporting record numbers of new cases daily. The surge comes ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, raising concerns among public health experts about the possibility that family gatherings will cause cases to further rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended against traveling for the holiday.

More than 12 million Americans have been infected with the virus and more than a quarter million have died as a result of an infection, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Biden has made confronting the pandemic a central focus of his presidential campaign and now his planning to take office come January.

President TrumpDonald TrumpFacebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Section 230 worked after the insurrection, but not before: How to regulate social media MORE, in contrast, has regularly downplayed the virus and increasing cases and has been absent from meetings of the White House coronavirus task force. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany also sent a sharply different signal than the CDC last week when she criticized guidelines put in place by states like Oregon and New York as “Orwellian.”

Trump has spent much of his energy recently contesting the election results, and has staged few public appearances. He did appear at a news conference a week after the election was called for Biden to tout the progress on coronavirus vaccine development and he announced rules to lower drug prices at another appearance last week.