Health experts call on GSA to recognize Biden victory

The Trump administration is still not sharing coronavirus information with the incoming Biden team, and calls are rising for that to change.

A group of nearly 200 public health experts is calling on the General Services Administration (GSA) to recognize President-elect Joe Biden‘s victory and allow the transition to officially begin, a step they say is key in combating the coronavirus pandemic.

The former government officials, advocates, medical school deans and other experts said the transition, which is currently being held up by GSA Administrator Emily Murphy amid legal challenges to this month’s election from President Trump, would enable Biden and his aides to conduct critical meetings with government staffers and receive information that will be needed to effectively curb a rapidly worsening health disaster.

“In light of the public health crisis facing the nation, it is imperative that you ascertain Joe Biden as President-elect immediately under the Presidential Transition Act. Doing so will enable the incoming Biden team to liaise with key health officials in the Trump Administration and prepare a robust, coordinated response to the pandemic,” they wrote in a Thursday letter to Murphy.

Among other things, they wrote that a smooth transition is instrumental in maintaining preparation for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, developing mitigation strategies for businesses and schools, gauging hospital capacities and more. And with coronavirus cases spiking across the country, the experts warned a halting response to the pandemic could be costly.