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 BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms 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 HarrisRepublicans caught in California's recall trap Harris facilitates coin toss at Howard University football game Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol 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 TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol 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.