The consequences of President Trump’s refusal to concede the election has leaders in government and business worried. Speaking at the DealBook Online Summit Tuesday and Wednesday, they said administrative delays threaten a smooth transition that’s especially critical in a pandemic and amid economic crisis. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said she was “very worried about the transition process.”
“This is not a game,” Ms. Warren added. “People around the world, people who would do us harm, are watching what’s happening. They’re watching the delay in the transition.”
Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, expressed similar dismay: “We need a peaceful transition. We had an election. We have a new president. We should support that, whether you like the election outcome or not, you should support the democracy because it is based on a system of faith and trust. ”
Refusal to concede doesn’t present just abstract threats, experts said. There are practical considerations, like the fact that the General Services Administration has so far refused to acknowledge President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s win, which means the incoming administration has no access to offices, experts, funds and information it needs to manage the pandemic and to govern in January.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, noted during the summit that in 35 years he has dealt with six administrations through five transitions. “I can say that transitions are extremely important to the smooth continuity of what we are doing,” he said. “You want to have the continuity.”
Albert Bourla, the chief executive of Pfizer, similarly noted on Tuesday that working on a coronavirus vaccine approval and release during a transition is not “ideal,” adding, “It’s always better when there is clear accountability and leadership.” Pfizer on Wednesday said that it planned to seek emergency regulatory approval for its vaccine “within days”; preliminary data have shown the vaccine to be 95 percent effective.
Something Elizabeth Warren and Jamie Dimon agree on: The presidential transition must begin. The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ TheTodayNews.