Donald Trump’s administration continues to stonewall Joe Biden’s incoming transition team, which has worried public health experts as the coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate. According to writer Mark Hughes, Trump officials linked to the stonewalling should face criminal charges.
“Every state AG needs to file capital murder charges against the members of any Trump agencies refusing to coordinate public health info & planning,” he tweeted. “Charge them & issue arrest warrants, and see how many have to be hauled off before the rest learn their lesson.
The comment was a response to Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, who claimed on Thursday that the Trump administration’s vaccine distribution team has not briefed anyone on Biden’s team and don’t plan to do so. The senator called the lack of communication “potentially catastrophic.”
CNN National Correspondent Kristen Holmes reported similar stonewalling on Twitter on Wednesday. The reporter cited a Trump administration official who allegedly claimed that some officials at the Department of Health and Human Services were instructed to refuse to speak with anyone from Biden’s side. In addition, these staffers were reportedly told to alert Deputy Surgeon General Rear Admiral Erica Schwartz of all communication with Biden and his allies.
“Everyone in the Trump administration who follows this has essentially decided it is easier to be an accessory to murder than it is to do their job,” author Andy Lewis tweeted in response to Holmes, echoing Hughes’ remarks.
During an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street on Thursday, Dr. Celine Gounder, who is part of Biden’s coronavirus panel, said the Trump administration’s refusal to coordinate with the Democrat’s advisers is a “major impediment to rolling out and scaling up the vaccine.”
Other Biden advisers have made similar warnings, and the president-elect himself warned that more Americans might die if his incoming administration is not allowed to coordinate the distribution of vaccinations until January 20.
“The longer we wait on transition the more people will get infected and die,” he said on Monday.
Author Dan Gillmor previously speculated that Trump is intentionally allowing or encouraging the spread of COVID-19. His comments echoed those of journalist Cody Fenwick, who argued that the Trump administration has always accepted a mass death scenario and pointed to its past support for herd immunity.
The Pfizer vaccine is reportedly 95 percent effective in preventing coronavirus, while Moderna’s is supposedly over 94 percent effective. Trump HHS Secretary Alex Azar claimed that approximately 40 million doses of the preparation would be available by the end of the year. However, experts warned that it will take months to over a year to distribute enough of the vaccines to Americans and the rest of the world to effectively suppress the pandemic.