Biden begins transition plans as Trump refuses to concede

By Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 10:13 PM ET, Mon November 9, 2020
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12:11 p.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Biden: Vaccine process must be "grounded in science and fully transparent"

President-elect Joe Biden said that "we just received positive news in this fight with announcement that there's been progress made toward a successful vaccine" — but added that the process must "be grounded in science and fully transparent."

He continued: "Soon the expectation is the FDA will run the process of rigorous reviews and approvals. And the process must also be grounded in science and fully transparent so the American people can have every confidence that any approved vaccine is safe and effective."

Biden added that even if a vaccine is approved it "will not be widely available for many months yet to come."

His remarks came during a speech from Wilmington, Delaware, after being briefed by his newly formed coronavirus advisory board.

More context: Earlier today, drug maker Pfizer said early analysis shows its Covid-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective.

Biden addresses Pfizer vaccine update:

12:04 p.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Biden speaking now after being briefed by Covid-19 advisory board

Pool
Pool

President-elect Joe Biden is speaking now from Wilmington, Delaware, after being briefed by his newly formed coronavirus advisory board.

"I am humbled by the trust and confidence the American people placed in me and Vice President-elect Harris. We are ready to get to work addressing the needs of the American people. Today, that work begins," Biden said.

"It starts with doing everything possible to get the Covid-19 under control so we can reopen businesses safely and sustainably, resume our lives, put this pandemic behind us," Biden added.  

11:57 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

CNN Projection: Democrat flips Georgia House seat and Republican Issa will return to Congress

CNN projects that these candidates will win their House races:

  • Republican Darrell Issa wins California's 50th congressional district
  • Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux wins Georgia's 7th congressional district, flipping the seat
  • Democrat Susan Wild wins Pennsylvanias's 7th congressional district
  • Democrat Matt Cartwright wins Pennsylvanias's 8th congressional district
  • Democrat Conor Lamb wins Pennsylvanias's 17th congressional district
  • Democrat Abigail Spanberger wins Virginias's 7th congressional district
  • Democrat Susie Lee wins Nevada's 3rd congressional district

CNN projected Saturday that Democrats would keep control of the House.

11:51 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Ben Carson, who attended Trump election party, tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

HUD Secretary Ben Carson speaks during the Republican National Convention in Washington, DC, on August 27.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson speaks during the Republican National Convention in Washington, DC, on August 27. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

HUD Secretary Ben Carson tested positive for coronavirus Monday morning, his deputy chief of staff Coalter Baker confirmed to CNN.

Carson attended the election night party where White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and nearly every other attendee was not wearing a mask. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and four others in President Trump's orbit subsequently tested positive last week.

Carson was also spotted maskless at a Trump campaign rally in Waterford Township, Michigan on Oct. 30.

Carson's diagnosis was first reported by ABC News.

CNN's Betsy Klein contributed to this report

11:42 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

IBM CEO sends letter to Biden with congratulations and policy priorities

From CNN Brian Fung 

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna sent a letter Monday to President-elect Joe Biden congratulating him and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their election victory. 

The letter called on Biden’s incoming administration to implement IBM’s policy proposals for the pandemic and economic recovery, including restoring DACA, using artificial intelligence to develop Covid-19 treatments and rejoining the Paris climate agreement. 

Krishna also highlighted a series of tech-specific items on IBM’s agenda, including calling for a national privacy law, requiring tech platforms to exercise “reasonable care” in moderating content under Section 230, and promoting an interoperable 5G equipment ecosystem that could reduce America’s reliance on companies such as Huawei, Nokia or Ericsson. 

"IBM is committed to working with your Administration to do its part,” the letter said. "We share your vision of using science to control the virus, widening economic opportunities, achieving racial justice and combatting the climate crisis.”
11:56 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Trump campaign staffers face uncertain future

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

President Donald Trump speaks at the White House on November 5.
President Donald Trump speaks at the White House on November 5. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Even as Trump campaign leadership told staff on Monday that this election isn't over and they need to stay in the fight, they have offered no indication to staff that they will be employed into next week.

Campaign staffers are employed until Nov. 15 and have so far gotten no signal that their contracts will be extended despite the campaign's fundraising for a legal battle.

"They're saying, 'Stay in the fight!'" one campaign source told CNN. "Hard for people to stay in the fight when they'll be unemployed a week from today."

This source also said that campaign leadership made note of lackluster attendance at today's staff meeting, which was announced with just 15 minutes' notice.

With the uncertain prospect of continued employment with the campaign, many staffers are on the hunt for a new job. That too is getting some in trouble.

Soon after the staff meeting, campaign manager Bill Stepien's assistant shouted at a campaign staffer for printing their resume in the office.

11:17 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Biden won “so let's get on with the program,” Republican Florida lawmaker says

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Rep. Francis Rooney on CNN's "Newsroom" on November 9.
Rep. Francis Rooney on CNN's "Newsroom" on November 9. CNN

Rep. Francis Rooney, a Republican from Florida, says President-elect Joe Biden has won the election and it’s time to “get on with the program.”

“There's an election. It appears that the [former] vice president won it,” he said Monday. “I don't see there's any way it could ever be changed in any of these states, maybe Georgia. So let's get on with the program.”

Rooney congratulated Biden on Twitter Sunday, while other Republicans have either urged President Trump not to concede or stayed silent despite no widespread evidence of fraud in the election.

“There will be books written about this hold that President Trump has over a lot of the Republican leadership and base. I don't understand it. It was never that way with previous Republican leaders. I think the peaceful transfer of power is a critical element of our democracy,” Rooney added. “To me, it's a little dangerous to have that much personal affiliation,” he said.

Rooney said he is optimistic that Biden and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell will be able to work together on some issues, saying Americans don’t want extreme left or right.

“I am thankful to see [Biden] make the case that clearly for a lessening of the partisanship, seeking civility, and the kind of discourse [where] we can agree to disagree, we don't have to hate," he said.

Watch:

11:01 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

Biden and Harris are being briefed by Covid-19 advisory board

From CNN's Chris Boyette

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris attend a briefing with their transition Covid-19 advisory board at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 9.
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris attend a briefing with their transition Covid-19 advisory board at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 9. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

As the US nears 10 million coronavirus cases, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are being briefed by the transition Covid-19 advisory board in Wilmington, Delaware.

Biden's transition team earlier announced the group of public health experts that will make up his coronavirus advisory board.

The task force is chaired by:

  • Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy
  • Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler
  • Yale University's Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith

Among the other thirteen members are:

  • Dr. Luciana Borio, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations
  • Dr. Zeke Emanuel, one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act and an ex-Obama health adviser.
10:57 a.m. ET, November 9, 2020

National Security Council staff has not gotten guidance on transition 

From CNN's Vivian Salama

National Security Council (NSC) officials have not received any guidance yet on the upcoming transition, according to several administration officials. 

The NSC begins the transition early since it typically leads the process that other agencies will follow. The NSC, like other agencies, also works with highly classified information, which requires special protocol during a presidential transition.

While the Biden transition team awaits ascertainment, under federal guidelines, NSC officials – among them political appointees who will be leaving come January, and career officials who will stay on and continue their service after President-Elect Biden takes office – say they’ve received no guidance from outgoing national security adviser Robert O’Brien about the status of their work or how they should proceed in the coming months. 

“I think it’s going to be messy,” one of the officials told CNN, anticipating very little guidance from Trump principles.