News World US US Election Biden outlines COVID-19 plan while golfing Trump keeps head in the sand

Biden outlines COVID-19 plan while golfing Trump keeps head in the sand

Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

US President Donald Trump is facing pressure to concede defeat but is refusing to budge and instead repeating unfounded claims of voter fraud.

Busying himself playing golf for a second day, Mr Trump has left Republicans to speak up for him on morning television shows as his team continues to publicly sow doubt about the results of the election.

Former president George W. Bush has become the most high-profile figure to break from party line, saying that while Mr Trump has the right to pursue legal challenges and recounts, the race was “fundamentally fair”.

“The outcome is clear,” Mr Bush said.

“Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country.”

Privately, it appears Mr Trump is also facing pressure to acknowledge Joe Biden’s win.

A source has told CNN that Melania Trump had spoken privately with her husband about the need to concede the election to Mr Biden.

The source was quoted as saying the First Lady had “offered” her opinion, which she “often does”.

Jared Kushner, Mr Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser who helped run his campaign in 2016, had earlier approached the defeated President about accepting the election loss, two sources told CNN.

Jason Miller tweeted “this story is not true” and said Mr Kushner had advised the president to “pursue all available legal remedies to ensure accuracy”. CNN said it stood by its report.

Shortly after the reports emerged, Mrs Trump took to twitter – with language similar to that being used by her husband – to insinuate that some votes counted may have been “illegal”.

“The American people deserve fair elections,” she wrote.

“Every legal – not illegal – vote should be counted. We must protect our democracy with complete transparency.”

About the same time as his wife, Mr Trump took to twitter with a post that again signalled he is still not ready to face reality.

He has said the presidential race was “far from over”, but Mr Biden is already making plans for when he transitions to the White House on January 20.

Top of the agenda is to change the US’s response to the coronavirus.

Mr Biden is due to announce a 12-member task force to develop a blueprint on Monday (local time).

The task force will be headed by three co-chairs: former surgeon general Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler, and Yale University’s Marcella Nunez-Smith, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The details of Mr Biden’s plan was revealed on his new presidential transition website, called Build Back Better.

On it, his administration promises to “listen to science”, “ensure public health decisions are informed by public health professionals” and “promote trust, transparency, common purpose, and accountability in our government”.

Celebrations continue across the US

The president-elect attended a church service with his daughter Ashley and grandson Hunter in the morning after his election win.

They then visited the graves of Mr Biden’s son Beau who died of brain cancer in 2015, and his first wife Neilia, who was killed in a car crash in 1972 with their daughter Naomi.

Meanwhile, Biden supporters banged pots, honked car horns and set off fireworks across US cities to celebrate his win.

Thousands of jubilant revellers gathered outside a White House security fence, screaming and singing.

Mr Trump had been out playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia.

He made the 42-kilometre trip back to the White House in his presidential motorcade and was booed upon his arrival.

Streets were closed to traffic as Biden supporters marched with an assortment of LGBTQ, Black Lives Matter and American flags.

Some carried a giant balloon of Mr Trump in the shape of a rat.

In nearby Dupont Circle, several hundred people formed a parade, playing music, singing and dancing and marched towards the White House to the sound of honking horns and clanging cowbells.

In Washington’s Petworth neighborhood, Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration” and Curtis Mayfield’s “Move on Up” could be heard playing loudly as neighbours hooted and cars sounded their horns.

Loud cheers erupted in the halls of the hotel where Biden aides are staying.

At Chicago O’Hare airport a female cleaner working in the women’s restroom took a FaceTime call from her daughter and they cheered and exclaimed in Spanish as she danced around the cleaning cart.

In Atlanta, shouts, cheers and fireworks sounded in the Democratic stronghold of East Atlanta Village as word spread that Biden was named the winner.

Twitter flags ‘disputed’ claims by the president

Mr Trump vowed to challenge the election outcome in court after Mr Biden was projected as the winner.

“I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands,” Mr Trump said in the statement.

Mr Trump showed no sign of concession on Sunday as he posted remarks on Twitter from commentators casting doubt on the election’s integrity including, “This was a stolen election.”

Twitter flagged the comments, noting “this claim about election fraud is disputed,” the latest instance of a social media platform flagging his posts.

Mr Trump will be subject to the same Twitter rules as any other user when Mr Biden takes office, the social media company has confirmed.

Twitter places “public interest” notices on some rule-breaking tweets from “world leaders” that would otherwise be removed.

Such tweets from political candidates and elected or government officials are instead hidden by a warning and Twitter takes actions to restrict their reach.

But the company said this treatment does not apply to former office holders.

“This policy framework applies to current world leaders and candidates for office, and not private citizens when they no longer hold these positions,” a Twitter spokesman said in a statement.

Under Facebook Inc’s policies, it appears that after Biden takes office in January, Mr Trump’s posts would also no longer be exempt from review by Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partners.

-with AAP