Three major medical associations warned President Donald Trump Tuesday that his continued refusal to concede the 2020 election and begin the process of aiding the transition to the incoming Biden-Harris administration could cost thousands of American lives as the coronavirus pandemic runs rampant across the country.
In their letter to Trump, the American Medical Association (AMA), American Hospital Association (AHA), and American Nurses Association (ANA) called on administration officials to share all real-time data about the availability of supplies to combat the crisis, so President-elect Joe Biden and incoming White House officials will not be forced to catch up on weeks of crucial public health information after Inauguration Day in January.
“As providers of care for all Americans, we see the suffering that is occurring in our communities due to Covid-19… It is from this frontline human perspective that we urge you to share critical data and information as soon as possible.”
—AMA, AHA, and ANA
“Real-time data and information on the supply of therapeutics, testing supplies, personal protective equipment, ventilators, hospital bed capacity, and workforce availability to plan for further deployment of the nation’s assets needs to be shared to save countless lives,” said the organizations.
As it stands, the incoming administration is not being given information on the capacity of the Strategic National Stockpile or Operation Warp Speed, Trump’s coronavirus vaccine task force—knowledge deficits which will lead to a “lapse in our ability to care for patients,” the AMA, AHA, and ANA said.
On a press call Tuesday, members of Biden’s coronavirus task force said they are relying on data from private research projects such as the volunteer-led Covid Tracking Project to determine how they should approach the crisis when Biden takes office.
Biden’s COVID task force just hosted a call where the made clear the inability to do transition work with the Trump team is dire. “We do not have access to official government data,” they explained, saying they’re relying, in part, on public sets, like COVID-19 tracking project
— Sam Stein (@samstein) November 17, 2020
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are also meeting with outside experts and former government officials to discuss national security, a situation HuffPost reporter Jennifer Bendery called “ridiculous and damaging for the country.”
This is how Biden and Harris have to prepare for day one of the presidency because Trump’s GSA administrator @GSAEmily won’t give the go-ahead for the formal transition process to begin. Ridiculous and damaging for the country.
Statement from Biden’s team, via pool report: pic.twitter.com/Jk0X5wZmEB
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) November 17, 2020
Refusing to acknowledge that Biden won the presidential election, garnering nearly six million more votes than Trump, the General Services Administration has yet to certify the election results—an act which would free up funds for the transition and give Biden’s team access to information held by federal agencies.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that he expects a “smooth transition” to Trump’s second term, baselessly claiming that “illegal votes” had been cast—but several lawsuits filed by the Republican Party and Trump’s campaign since Election Day have already failed in court or been dropped, and for a second time in Pennsylvania on Monday, a team of lawyers representing the president in his case seeking to block the state from certifying its results, announced they were withdrawing from the case.
The national medical associations echoed a call from Biden on Monday, in which he warned that “more people may die if we don’t coordinate” and said the U.S. can expect a “very dark winter” as federal lawmakers refuse to pass a robust Covid-19 relief package and hospitals across the country report that they are already overrun with coronavirus patients.
“As providers of care for all Americans, we see the suffering that is occurring in our communities due to Covid-19. We see families who have lost both parents from Covid-19; we see children suffering from long-term effects due to a Covid-19 infection; and we see minority populations disproportionately suffering from the devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic,” wrote the groups. “It is from this frontline human perspective that we urge you to share critical data and information as soon as possible.”