The heads of three major medical associations wrote an open letter to President Trump on Tuesday to urge the White House to share crucial information about the coronavirus pandemic with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, saying doing so will save “countless lives,” which echoes Biden’s assertion that “people may die” if there isn’t coordination between administrations.
Leaders of the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and American Nurses Association implored the Trump administration to share information about the Strategic National Stockpile, Operation Warp Speed and plans for distributing therapeutics and vaccines immediately to make sure there is not a gap in the ability for doctors and nurses to take care of coronavirus patients.
They wrote that it is essential to share the information because of what members of their organizations on the front-line have seen, including people who have lost both their parents to the illness, children experiencing long-term health consequences after getting the virus and under-represented people being disproportionately impacted.
As they noted, coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths have increased and are expected to continue to surge during the holiday season, making it even more critical to have a continuation in the pandemic response effort.
Biden told reporters Monday that the coronavirus vaccine distribution plan will be delayed by more than a month if his administration is unable to start planning until late January which, as he said, could put people’s lives at risk. When asked about the Trump administration’s refusal to start the transition process, leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday told the Today show he is “concerned” and reiterated that communication between administrations is necessary for the distribution plan to be successful.
The General Services Administration, the federal agency responsible for the transition, has refused to start working with the Biden team. An agency spokeswoman told the Associated Press a winner has not yet been determined and implied the GSA may not start the process until the Electoral College meets in December or Trump concedes.
11,218,305. That is the number of confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Nearly 250,000 Americans have died. The number of new daily confirmed cases surpassed 100,000 for the first time on November 3 and has continued at that rate, hitting a grim record 177,224 new cases on November 13. The number of Americans hospitalized for coronavirus reached a record 73,014 people on Monday, according to data collected by the Covid Tracking Project.