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Pallone Urges President Trump to Begin Transfer of Power for COVID-19 Response Effort

Nov 19, 2020
Press Release
“By blocking critical coordination now, you are dangerously undermining the nation’s ability to contain the pandemic and placing more American lives at risk.”

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) wrote to President Donald J. Trump today urging him to stop stonewalling and begin the presidential transfer of power for the COVID-19 response effort to stop further spread of the virus across the country 

“With the results of the 2020 presidential election now clear, the American people have entrusted President-elect Joe Biden with stewardship of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts moving forward,” Pallone wrote to Trump. “As you continue to deny the will of the American people and delay transition efforts, experts warn your obstruction may ‘endanger public health by risking a delay in a vaccine roll-out, a national strategy for testing, and the distribution of crucial supplies.’”

In his letter, Pallone pointed to the encouraging preliminary results of two potential COVID-19 vaccines to underscore the importance of coordinating with the incoming Biden Administration to prevent disruptions to distribution of an eventual vaccine. 

“While the news provides hope that vaccine distribution might begin before the end of this year, the incoming Biden Administration will be responsible for further implementing a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination program,” Pallone continued. “Even without the barriers posed by your persistent obstruction, distributing and administering COVID-19 vaccines will be logistically difficult and could strain states’ already limited resources.”

In addition to the logistical challenges of vaccine distribution, Pallone also raised reports of increased demand for testing, shortages of testing supplies, hospitals approaching patient capacity, shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), and rising shortages of health care workers as urgent reasons to begin coordinating with the incoming Biden Administration to prevent further harm to the American people. 

“This stonewalling is unacceptable,” Pallone concluded. “Ultimately, the American people will be the ones to suffer should your intransigence continue. Therefore, I urge you to prioritize the lives of Americans and the health of the nation by immediately directing your Administration to begin transitioning power to the 46th President of the United States.”  

Read the full letter HERE