WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local):
3:30 p.m. Wednesday
A big Biden family Thanksgiving is off the table for President-elect Joe Biden because of the pandemic.
In remarks billed as a Thanksgiving address to the nation, the Democrat urged Americans to “hang on” and not “surrender to the fatigue” after months of coping with the virus.
He noted that public health officials have asked Americans to give up many of the traditions that make Thanksgiving special, like big indoor family get-togethers.
Biden said he knows how hard it is to give up family traditions but that it’s very important this year given the spike in virus cases, averaging about 160,000 a day.
He urged everyone to wear masks, practice social distancing and limit the size of groups, calling it a “patriotic duty” until a vaccine is approved.
President Donald Trump uttered one falsehood after another as he baselessly claimed that he won the 2020 election instead of President-elect Joe Biden as he called into an event organized by Pennsylvania Republicans in Gettysburg.
Trump’s election lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, attended the event to continue his quixotic and dangerous quest to try to overturn the results of the democratic election.
Trump had been expected to appear in person, but did not after another member of his legal team tested positive for the coronavirus. He was placed on speakerphone to address the group.
Trump is refusing to concede, even though Pennsylvania on Tuesday certified Biden as the winner in the state and as the formal transition process has begun.
State election officials and international observers have insisted that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. Trump’s legal team repeatedly has lost its cases in court.
A broad coalition of top government and industry officials says the Nov. 3 election was “the most secure in American history.” Biden was declared the winner on Nov. 7.
President-elect Joe Biden plans a Thanksgiving address to the nation, and he’s expected to focus on shared sacrifices during the holiday season and express confidence that Americans will get through the coronavirus pandemic together.
Biden will receive his first classified briefing as president-elect and announce his economic team next week.
Biden transition adviser Jen Psaki says Biden on Monday will receive his first presidential daily briefing, the regular briefing on the most sensitive intelligence offered to top U.S. officials.
Biden had been blocked from receiving intelligence briefings and his team members had been blocked from contact with their counterparts in the Trump administration due to the General Services Administration’s refusal to ascertain that Biden won the election while Trump campaign legal challenges against the vote continued. That ascertainment came Monday, lifting those roadblocks to cooperation.
Transition adviser Kate Bedingfield says the Biden team will begin briefings with the Trump administration on vaccine distribution, testing and the personal protective equipment supply chain on Wednesday.
Bedingfield says the team has been in touch with FBI and Department of Justice officials about coordinating expedited background checks for Biden’s senior White House staffers and the Cabinet nominees he announced Tuesday.