Biden to meet with workers, small business owners impacted by pandemic

Presidential Transition

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden listens after announcing nominees and appointees to serve on his economic policy team at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., December 1, 2020. (REUTERS/Leah Millis)

WILMINGTON, Del. (NewsNation Now) — President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday will meet with American workers and business owners hit by COVID-19 as he prepares to confront the pandemic that has taken a heavy human and economic toll when he takes office next month.

The Democrat is urging Congress to resolve a monthslong standoff over coronavirus aid and has promised to act quickly to provide more resources to fight a health crisis that has killed more than 270,000 Americans so far.

Biden has selected many of his top national security and economic advisers, though it’s unclear how many will win confirmation in a closely divided U.S. Senate, control of which will be determined by a pair of January run-off elections.

One potential bright spot: Top U.S. health officials say they plan to begin vaccinating Americans against the disease as soon as mid-December. Health-care workers and long-term care residents are expected to be first in line.

Biden is due to hold a socially distanced discussion with workers and small business owners who have suffered during the economic upheaval brought on by the pandemic. He and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris also will receive national security briefings from U.S. government officials.

Those briefings are a subtle sign from outgoing President Donald Trump’s administration that Biden and Harris will take power on Jan. 20, though Trump himself has refused to concede in a sharp break from U.S. tradition.

Trump’s lawyers, meanwhile, continue to file legal challenges in a bid to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 election.

The legal effort has spawned dozens of lawsuits, all of which have come up short. Trump’s campaign most recently brought an election challenge to the Wisconsin Supreme Court after a partial recount confirmed Biden’s victory in the battleground state.

State and federal election officials have repeatedly said there is no evidence of widespread fraud.

Attorney General William Barr, the nation’s top law enforcement official, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that the Justice Department has found no evidence of widespread fraud.

President Trump doesn’t have any public appearances scheduled for Wednesday.

Reuters contributed to this report. All reporting by Andy Sullivan and Brad Heath.

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