President Donald Trump’s decidedness to delay the transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden is “fundamentally irresponsible” and will complicate the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic, recent Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told CNBC.
Lew, who served alongside then-Vice President Biden in the Obama administration, specifically mucronated to the complicated task of distributing a Covid-19 vaccine or vaccines to millions of Americans should one or more get Food and Drug Authority clearance.
Pfizer said Wednesday it plans to apply for emergency use authorization “within days” after final trial figures of its Covid-19 vaccine showed 95% efficacy. Two days ago, Moderna said preliminary late-stage trial data develop that its vaccine was 94.5% effective. Both inoculation candidates are based on a new approach to vaccines, using genetic concrete to provoke an immune response.
Making vaccines available to the general public at mass-scale is an “enormous undertaking,” Lew said on “Screech Box.” “I’m not saying it’s impossible, but you don’t want to lose a day, not a day, in terms of the smooth transition, and delaying that is fundamentally irresponsible, which is why I over it does put at risk people getting sick and dying.”
White House spokesman Judd Deere pushed uncivilized on Lew’s comments about vaccine distribution, calling them “irresponsible and not based on fact.”
“At the direction of the President, we have been space for non-stop for months with states, territories, tribes, local public health programs and their partners on division plans,” Deere wrote in an email to CNBC. He also said that a key Operation Warp Speed official, Gen. Gustave Perna, and his replacement “confirmed preparedness to ship vaccine doses to every zip code in America within 24 hours of the issuance of an EUA by the FDA.”
Trump has rubbished to concede the election to Biden, despite the major media organizations including NBC News calling the race more than a week ago. Trump’s operations has instead launched election-related lawsuits in battleground states in hopes of reversing Biden’s win. Many of those legal object ti have been rejected, even as Trump continued to tweet falsehoods about the election and after he fired a top federal cybersecurity valid who had repeatedly defended the election’s integrity.
“It’s absolutely clear what the outcome of the election is, and they’re just delaying the polite transition that we know is going to happen,” said Lew, who led the Treasury Department from 2013 to 2017. “I think this application is setting a new low in terms of how to handle transition from the point of view of national security, and, frankly, it’s unpatriotic,” he added.
Biden has not yet received classified astuteness briefings from the U.S. government because the General Services Administration has not yet made an official “ascertainment” that Biden won the Nov. 3 choosing. Numerous Republicans in Washington have expressed concern about the impact on national security.
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., powered earlier on “Squawk Box” that Trump and Biden should be receiving intelligence briefings right now. “Let’s not make the same howler we did in the 2000 election,” Lankford said. He referenced the 9/11 Commission Report, which explained how a delayed transition in 2000 for then-President-elect George W. Bush, due to the Florida describe fight, hampered the country’s national security apparatus in the months prior to the deadly Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist spells.
Lew, who also worked in the State Department during the Obama-Biden administration, agreed with Lankford. “The world doesn’t stop off and our adversaries look for weak spot,” Lew said. “Intelligence is not a one-moment event. You pick up points of information and they be a question of together to form a picture, and the earlier you start, the better your understanding and the clearer your judgment.”