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US election: Top Biden aide says government must approve transition this week

Published: Updated:

US President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming chief of staff on Sunday said the federal government needs to sign off on transition team efforts this week so that Biden’s team can receive national security briefings and address COVID-19.

“What we really want to see this week ... is the General Services Administration issue that ascertainment,” Ron Klain said on NBC New’s “Meet the Press.”

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Klain urged Congress to pass bipartisan pandemic financial aid as the number of new coronavirus cases shattered US records and strained many state healthcare systems from coast-to-coast.

In the interview he said such a bill was urgently needed given the surge in COVID-19 cases, and that a relief package could pass before Biden took office on January 20.

Klain added that Biden’s team planned to meet with Pfizer and other drug makers this week, but is still awaiting federal government authorization to formally begin transition efforts between his pandemic advisers and the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Trump’s tweet acknowledging Biden’s win - before later saying he did not concede - had no bearing on the actuality of the election, Klain added.

“Donald Trump’s Twitter feed doesn’t make Joe Biden president or not president. The American people did that,” he told NBC.

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