PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are moving quickly to build their government while President Donald Trump refuses to concede. The first order of business is trying to get a lid on the coronavirus pandemic as case numbers are soaring across the nation.
Biden is expected to announce his COVID-19 Task Force on Monday. Biden has named a former surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, and a former FDA commissioner, David Kessler, as co-chairs of the coronavirus working group. Other members are expected to be announced Monday.
They’re still counting ballots inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center as Democrats claim victory and some Republicans, including Trump, are refusing to concede.
“Let’s give each other a chance,” Biden said Saturday night during his victory speech.
It was a message of unity from the president-elect, who spent Sunday morning at church while Trump counted strokes at his golf course in Virginia for the second straight day.
“Seventy million Americans voted for Donald Trump and they and the president deserve to have this process play out,” Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey said Sunday on “Face the Nation.”
As ballots continue to be counted in Philadelphia, the Trump campaign has said the president will not concede, promising legal action across the country beginning on Monday alleging mail-in ballot fraud.
Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani alleged during a press conference outside Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Northeast Philadelphia Saturday that about “50 to 60” Republican poll watchers were “uniformly deprived of their right to inspect any single part of the mail-in ballots.”
Pennsylvania top government officials have defended the commonwealth, saying there has been no evidence of voter fraud and poll watchers were given access to watch all ballots being counted.
In Philadelphia, officials have been live streaming the ballot counting process 24/7.
“From the inside looking out, it all looks very deranged. At the end of the day, we are counting eligible votes cast by voters. The controversy surrounding it is something I don’t understand,” Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt, a Republican, said on “60 Minutes” Sunday night. “It’s people making accusations that we wouldn’t count those votes or people are adding fraudulent votes or just coming up with all sorts of crazy stuff. … Calls to our offices reminding us that this is what the second amendment is for, people like us.”
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) November 9, 2020
Committee of Seventy President David Thornburgh says that “we’ve got to stick to the basics.”
“You trust the process. It’s a secure process,” Thornburgh said.
Thornburgh says a news outlet’s projection is not the official count. But since the race was called, Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada have only grown.
“They have been much, much more cautious this time around than any election I’ve ever seen,” Thornburgh said. “You call the election when it seems 99.9% impossible for the losing candidate to secure enough votes from the outstanding ones to actually overcome the winner.”
“We get caught up in this sense that some, that the counting of the last couple days, we sort of get in our heads that these are votes that just came in, but they didn’t,” Thornburgh added.
On the national Sunday morning political shows, the division remains clear.
“If Republicans are going to support President Trump in his resistance to accepting the outcome of the election, the president needs to show facts, not just angry tweets,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said.
“If there are irregularities alleged pursue those and to follow every legal option he has,” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said. “That’s what you’d expect of a president in a setting like this. At the same time, I think it’s important to choose one’s words carefully because the eyes of our children are upon us, the eyes of the world are upon us.”
It was a similar message Biden hammered home from the Chase Center in Wilmington on Saturday night as Pennsylvania counties have until Nov. 23 to certify their election results.
“It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric. To lower the temperature. To see each other again. To listen to each other again. To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy,” Biden said. “We are not enemies. We are Americans.”
Biden says he’ll work as hard for those who didn’t vote for him as the ones who did.
CBS3’s Dan Koob and Howard Monroe contributed to this report.
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