Joe Biden announced on Monday his economic team, an adviser that could include the first female secretary of the treasury as the president-elect seeks to revive the coronavirus-affected US economy.
The official nominations for a diverse proposed cabinet came after Biden appointed an all-female communications team. Republicans are likely to face fierce opposition to at least one of the Democrat̵
After a few days of work for Biden, who also managed to break his leg while playing with his dog, the former vice president finally gained access to the president’s daily briefings on Monday.
Donald Trump still refuses to recognize Sunday’s election, using his first television interview since Biden won the vote more than three weeks ago to reiterate his baseless allegations that the election was stolen.
Biden won 6 million more votes than Trump as he became the first presidential candidate to ever win the support of more than 80 million Americans. He won Electoral College 306-232, the same rating Trump beat Hillary Clinton four years ago.
Biden’s candidate for treasurer, Janet Yellen, was chairman of the Federal Reserve under Barack Obama and had previously been confirmed by the Senate. But Republicans are already preparing to oppose Nira Tanden, Biden’s candidate for government and budget.
Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress’s liberal think tank, accused Republicans in the Senate of hypocrisy after speeding up the appointment of Amy Connie Barrett to the Supreme Court following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Tanden has repeatedly criticized the right on Twitter.
“Neera Tanden, who has an endless stream of derogatory comments about Republican senators whose votes she will need, has no chance of being confirmed,” Texas senator John Cornin, a teenager, wrote on Twitter.
On Monday, Biden received the president’s daily briefing, a classified document summarizing high-level information on national security issues and prepared by the director of national intelligence, for the first time since winning the election.
In 2018, the Washington Post reported that Trump did not read the daily reports, preferring oral presentations. Biden is expected to study the written material. He would have received it sooner, but the Trump administration has slowed the transition.
Biden will be forced to consume the short one while breastfeeding a broken leg, after slipping while playing with his German shepherd, Major. The president-elect’s office said the 78-year-old had broken two bones in his right leg and “will probably need a walking shoe for a few weeks”.
There was better health news for the United States as a whole on Monday, as Health Secretary Alex Hazard said the first two coronavirus vaccines could be given to Americans “before Christmas.”
Two vaccines are awaiting evaluation for emergency use. If approved, Hazard said state governors would decide who would receive the first doses.
“Be thinking people in nursing homes, the most vulnerable – be thinking health workers who are at the forefront of interacting with suspected Covid cases, like the first tranches of people we will try to vaccinate,” Hazard told CBS.
As Biden progresses through presidential planning, Trump is becoming an increasingly lone voice in holding elections as a fraud. In an interview with Fox Business on Sunday, he continued to make baseless allegations of election fraud, although his legal team lost case after case in an attempt to overturn the result.
“My mind will not change in six months,” Trump said. “There were huge scams here.”
Trump also said he would “use 125% of my energy” to fight the results.
Shortly after the interview, Wisconsin completed a census that the president requested. Officials counted the votes in the two largest counties in Milwaukee and Dane, where more than 800,000 votes were cast. They found a small change in the results. In fact, Biden’s lead rose by 87 votes.
Further bad news about Trump on Monday revealed that the president has lost followers on Twitter in recent weeks – while Biden has increased his own followers.
According to the tracking website Factbase, the number of accounts after Trump – who complained of prejudice on Twitter – fell by 133,902 in 11 days, while Biden earned nearly 1.2 million.
Trump still has one of the most followed Twitter accounts in the world, with 88.8 million followers. But he is somehow lagging behind his White House predecessor, Barack Obama, who has 126.8 million.