White House Chief Of Staff Announces Biden’s 1st Cabinet Picks Update
“You’re going to see the first of the president-elect’s cabinet appointments on Tuesday of this week,” Klain told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview on “This Week.”
“But if you want to know what cabinet agencies they are or who’s going to be those cabinet agencies, you’ll have to wait for the president-elect, He’ll say that himself on Tuesday,” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain added.
Biden and Harris have already met with Pelosi and Schumer, placing plans in regards to the pandemic.
“It’s going to definitely have to be changed. We’ve started some consultations with House and Senate leadership on that. Obviously this is not going to be the same kind of inauguration we’ve had in the past,” Klain told Stephanopoulos, noting that Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris’ top priorities will be public health and ensuring they do not exacerbate the spread of COVID-19.
“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris conducted this campaign with the safety of the American people in mind,” Klain said. “They’re going to try to have an inauguration that honors the importance and the symbolic meaning of the moment, but also does not result in the spread of the disease. That’s our goal.”
Klain also explained that while public safety is paramount, the American people do have a lot to celebrate after Biden’s win. He said to expect many of the tactics and methods deployed by Democrats during their mostly virtual convention in August to be utilized again for the inauguration.
“We saw the day that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were announced as president and vice president of the United States people all over the world, and particularly in America, dancing in the streets. We know people want to celebrate. There is something here to celebrate. We just want to try to find a way to do it as safely as possible,” Klain said.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain has been working to push for the General Services Administration (GSA) to ascertain Biden as the winner of the election, which would allow their team to formally begin its transition work.
“We’re not in a position to get background checks on cabinet nominees. And so there are definite impacts. Those impacts escalate every day and I hope that the administrator of the GSA will do her job,” Klain said.
As relieving as it may be for some to hear Biden’s plans to get Covid under control, questions arise as to rather or not some credit for Covid recovery goes to the Trump administration.
“I think that everyone involved should get credit for that. It starts most importantly with the scientists and brilliant men and women who have done this work, but … vaccines don’t save lives. Vaccinations save lives,” Klain said. “So the scientific work that’s been done to get this vaccine to the place where it can be approved by the FDA, hopefully very, very soon, is just the first step. The much bigger step is actually getting those vaccinations to the American people. That’s hard.”
When Stephanopoulos pointed out that Gen. Gustave Perna, the four-star Army general in charge of the Trump administration’s “Operation Warp Speed,” said earlier this week on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that there has been and will not be a “slowdown” in vaccine distribution due to the stalled transition, Klain pointed to the shortcomings in the administration’s testing efforts as evidence that Americans are still right to question their ability to effectively coordinate the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The Trump administration has been at this for eight or nine months. In the course of that, fewer than one in three Americans has gotten a COVID test. And so, now, the question is how can we get 100% of Americans a vaccine in short order? That is a challenge that I think the American people are right to be skeptical about in terms of the way in which the Trump administration would handle it, and that’s a challenge that has been largely fallen to the Biden administration,” Klain argued.
Klain also called Trump’s refusal to concede the election to Biden “corrosive” and “harmful,” but said it will not change the fact that Biden won.
“Donald Trump’s been rejecting democracy. He has been … launching baseless claims of voter fraud, baseless litigation rejected by 34 courts and now these efforts to try to get election officials to overturn the will of the voters. It’s corrosive, it’s harmful, but … it’s not going to change the outcome of what happens here at 12 noon on Jan. 20, Joe Biden will become the next president of the United States,” Klain said.
As debates among voters continue as to why Biden became the President elect, Klain states that Biden is aware of the work he will need t do to reach and connect with Republicans. According to Monmouth University poll 70 percent of Republicans believe there was voter fraud involved.
“The reality, of course … is that even if we win them both, and I think we will win them both — I think both candidates are doing a great job — we’re going to have a closely divided Senate, kind of under any scenario,” Klain said, touting Biden’s record of working across the aisle and reiterating that Biden is likely to campaign in-person in Georgia ahead of the January runoff elections.
“Whatever happens in Georgia. Obviously we want to win those seats. I really want to see Chuck Schumer be the next majority leader in the U.S. Senate … but however that comes out, we are going to deliver for the American people. And that’s the mission.”