Mr Biden’s comments came as governors across the country began to impose tough new restrictions on businesses, schools, bars and sports venues in a bid to slow the spread of the virus, prompting a backlash increasingly aggressive on the part of Republicans, including some of Mr. Trump’s advisers.
In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s decision to shut down casinos, movie theaters and indoor restaurants – and stop in-person learning at high schools and colleges – for three weeks prompted Republican lawmakers to ask for his dismissal. She said Dr Atlas’ remarks were “irresponsible” and left her breathless.
Hours before Mr. Biden’s remarks, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien went beyond any other senior Trump official in a public forum when he said Mr. Biden appeared to have won the election and promised a transition of his staff.
“Look, if the Biden-Harris ticket is determined to be the winner – and obviously things are going that way now – we’ll have a very professional transition from the National Security Council,” Mr. O’Brien said.
Perhaps wary of the anger of a president who refuses to concede the obvious, however, even Mr O’Brien has spoken conditionally, falsely suggesting that the outcome of the election remains uncertain.
“If there is a new administration, they deserve some time to come in and implement their policies,” Mr. O’Brien said in a conference taped last week and aired on Monday as part of a conference organized by the Center for Strategic and International. Studies.
“And if we’re in a situation where we don’t go into a second Trump term, which I think people where I sit in the White House would like to see, if that’s another outcome, it will be a professional transition.” – there is no question about it, ”he added.
Jim Tankersley and Alan Rappeport contributed reporting.