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Doctor Giving Coronavirus Vaccine

Half Of US Adults Could Be Vaccinated By This Weekend 

According to an adviser from the White House, the United States is currently on track to have half of all adults vaccinated with at least one Covid-19 shot by this weekend, however, the adviser also emphasized that this doesn’t mean America is done with the pandemic. 

“We do have to remember that there are 100 million-plus adults that still haven’t been vaccinated. They’re not there yet, and you don’t win the war until you bring everybody over with you.”

President Joe Biden recently announced the goal of getting vaccinations open for all adults in all 50 states by April 19th, a task that is becoming more and more likely to occur as vaccine supplies increase, according to Andy Slavitt, the White House senior adviser who recently spoke to the press regarding the pandemic. 

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Dr. Anthony Fauci has claimed that around 70-85% of the population needs to be vaccinated to reach a proper herd immunity, and many states have a large population of people who don’t want to be vaccinated. Current data projects that certain states will likely be done vaccinating all willing adults by mid-June, while others could take until the end of 2021. 

Some states have been criticized for prematurely lifting mask mandates and other procedures meant to curb the spread of the virus due to the fact that they feel the vaccine’s release is enough to re-open the world. Fauci claims this couldn’t be more false: 

“It’s too premature to declare victory, we’ve got to continue to hang in there a bit longer by continuing with the public health measures.”

Slavitt claims that the US is more than equipped to stay on course with vaccination efforts, which is a great sign for the future of the nation in regards to this pandemic’s end. This is great news considering more and more health experts are growing concerned with the number of variants of the virus appearing throughout all 50 states. 

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Dr. Rochelle Walensky is the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who recently discussed how “the daily rate of new cases has been on the rise over the last four weeks due to highly transmissible variants like B117 spreading.” According to Walensky within the past week alone five states have accounted for 44% of new Covid-19 cases. 

Within the past week there have been around 453,000 new cases in the US; New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey accounting for 198,000 of those cases. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, “Michigan had the highest rate per capita and is leading the country in terms of new cases. Along with Michigan, Minnesota is also reporting some of the highest new cases in the country, however both states have high levels of vaccination.”

Many health experts are also discussing how to monitor which US citizens have been vaccinated and which haven’t in a post-pandemic world. Many believe that vaccine passports, or some form of official written proof of vaccination, should be required to enter into certain highly populated spaces. New York, for example, is currently testing out “Excelsior passes” to grant vaccinated citizens access to sports events and concerts at limited capacity. 

Director for the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota Michael Osterholm, recently claimed that “in addition to vaccination documentation debates, the US will also have to contend with ‘long Covid,’ a condition in which even patients with relatively mild illnesses could suffer symptoms long after their infection.”

One in three people who have been infected with Covid-19 have reported longer mental health and neurological symptoms, according to a recent study, so the US will have to continue to fund research that can help those individuals in their continued Covid journey after the pandemic comes to its eventual end.

Biden Working On $3 Trillion Package To Improve Infrastructure In America 

President Joe Biden is working on assembling a new package of investments that would divide $3 trillion among the nation’s infrastructure and domestic needs throughout the next few years. Biden met with Senate Democrats privately this week to begin laying out the groundwork for improving the country’s roads, hospitals, and green energy systems. The investments will be part of Biden’s “Build Back Better” campaign promise. 

According to sources, this package will resemble the recent $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill that the president just passed in that it will include family-friendly policies; for this package though the policies will focus on education and paid family leave. 

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A White House source claimed that the plans are still preliminary, but the overall goal is to use the money to help improve the nation’s economy and overall quality of life for every American. Senator Richard Blumenthal is just one of many Democrats who are prepared to move forward with the package should they be blocked by Republicans. “We need to get it done,” Blumenthal proclaimed. 

This package is also likely a response to the Biden Administration’s handling of the US-Mexico border and immigration in general; a topic that the administration is already under fire for due to a slew of migrant crossings and other failed promises brought on by Biden and his team. 

According to Yahoo News, “an infrastructure package would include roughly $1 trillion for roads, bridges, rail lines, electrical vehicle charging stations and the cellular network, among other items. 

“The goal would be to facilitate the shift to cleaner energy while improving economic competitiveness.”

“A second component would include investments in workers with free community college, universal pre-kindergarten and paid family leave. No part of the proposal has been finalized and the eventual details of any spending could change,” sources said. 

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked Democratic committee chairmen earlier this month to “start working with their Republican counterparts to begin to craft a big, bold and transformational infrastructure package. The goal is to build swiftly on the coronavirus rescue plan to help people in every zip code by creating good-paying jobs for the future.” 

The Federal Reserve estimates that the spending with the Covid-19 relief bill and this infrastructure package could help the economy grow by up to 6.5%. Biden’s campaign also previously promised an increase on corporate taxes and for individuals making about $400,000 annually, which would also help the economy. 

The House Energy and Commerce Committee debated a $300 billion measure to invest in clean drinking water and broadband internet access this week while Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is set to speak to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee later this week. The Senate Finance Committee is also scheduled to meet and discuss tax spending as a means for paying for this package; all of these committee meetings have to do with the overall relief package the Biden Administration has been working on since last month. 

Biden is expected to release his budget in the coming weeks while Congress continues to discuss and meet regarding the details of this infrastructure package, which lawmakers claim could be ready by this summer.

US Immigration Label

House Passes Immigration Bills To Grant Citizenship For Dreamers And Farmworkers

This week the House passed two proposals that would legalize the subsets of around 11 million immigrants who are living in the US without legal permission. The hope is to get the bill to President Biden’s desk as quickly as possible to give immigrants an easier chance at gaining citizenship and remaining in the US safely. 

All House Democrats and nine Republicans voted to approve the American Dream And Promise Act, which passed with a vote of 228 to 197. The proposal would “allow more than 2.3 million Dreamers, or unauthorized immigrants who came to the US as minora, as well as beneficiaries of certain temporary humanitarian programs, to gain permanent legal status and eventually, U.S. citizenship,” according to news sources. 

The House also passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act with a vote of 247 to 174. This act will grant legal status to the hundreds of thousands of farmworkers in the US who don’t have the proper paperwork but provide some of the most essential services and labor to the entire nation. Thirty Republicans voted in favor of the bill and one Democrat voted against it. 

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Biden has continuously claimed that he plans to legalize most of the country’s undocumented population which has been met with a lot of Republican push-back. The two bills on their own are Democrats best chance at advancing these bills and getting these citizens documented. Nancy Pelosi recently spoke on the two bills:

“It’s always been a pleasure for me to sing praises of our Dreamers. They make us proud, for us, this is a day not only passing legislation, but a cause for celebration.”

If signed into law the American Dream And Promise Act would make all DACA recipients and other undocumented immigrants who were brought into the US before they were 18 eligible to apply for a 10-year period of conditional permanent residency. 

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Applicants would be eligible to apply for permanent residence if they earn a college degree, enroll in a bachelor’s program for two years, serve in the military for two years, or if they work in the US for a three-year period. 

More than 300,000 immigrants currently live in the US with Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure, all of which could be eligible to apply for permanent residency under the bill if they meet all the requirements. 

“The Farm Workforce Modernization Act would allow immigrant farmworkers to apply for a temporary and renewable immigration status if they have worked at least 180 days in the U.S. during a two-year period. Eligible workers would be allowed to request green cards if they complete four or eight years of additional agricultural work, depending on whether they have performed such work for more than or less than 10 years,” according to CBS. 

The proposal would also make visa’s valid for three years. Congressional Democrats proposed to expand legal immigration and invest in Central American border controls as well. Dreamers, TPS holders and farmworkers could automatically be eligible for a green card under the proposal.

The White House Podium

Biden Administration To Begin Admitting Asylum-Seekers Forced To Wait In Mexico By Trump 

The Biden administration has announced that they will be allowing migrants into the US who have been forced to remain in Mexico while their asylum cases are processed due to a Trump-era policy. This is a part of the administration’s greater efforts to overhaul the immigration system. 

The Department of Homeland Security is projected to begin the first phase of this new program next Friday, when they will start gradually letting in migrants who have active cases under the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy. Biden is hoping that this is the first step in undoing former president Donald Trump’s hateful immigration legacy.

Biden is also looking to end the Migrant Protection Protocols program, which has also forced asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while they wait for US court proceedings. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently delivered a statement regarding this revision in immigration policy in America. 

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“This latest action is another step in our commitment to reform immigration policies that do not align with our nation’s values.” 

“The administration’s latest step does not mean the border would be open to all migrants, however, because changes will take time. Individuals who are not eligible under this initial phase should wait for further instructions and not travel to the border. Due to the current pandemic, restrictions at the border remain in place and will be enforced,” Mayorkas warned.

There are currently around 25,000 migrants with active cases under MPP, and under the new program those who have been waiting in the program the longest and/or those in the most vulnerable populations will be processed to come to the US first. The Biden Administration is planning on working with the Mexican government, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations in Mexico as well to help better identify eligible migrants who want to come to the US and begin transporting them into the country to process their cases. 

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The Mexican government and Biden Administration have warned migrants with active cases not to go to any US port of entry until they receive proper guidance. According to the administration those in the first phase will be processed in three ports of entry, and officials believe that once they have these ports fully up and operational they’ll be able to process up to 300 people per day. 

Migrants who are processed through this new program will be tested for Covid-19 before entering into the US and once they’re here they will be enrolled in what the administration is calling an “alternative to detention program” that will help track them and their specific cases so that they can be routed to the appropriate court. Being routed to the right court is essential for migrant cases because it determines where they will settle in the country. 

President Joe Biden has vowed throughout his campaign that he would be ending the program that is keeping so many asylum seekers in dangerous living conditions. Due to Trump-era policies there are currently tens of thousands of asylum seekers being forced to stay in Mexico, often in poor living conditions. Last week Biden signed an executive order that gave Mayorkas the task of reviewing the program for potential termination.

Glass Covid Vaccine Bottles

President Biden Announces Purchase Of 200 Million Covid-19 Vaccine Doses 

President Joe Biden announced a slew of executive orders and measures this week that are aimed at ramping up Covid-19 vaccine allocation and distribution. Part of the measures include the purchasing of 200 million more vaccine doses and increased distribution to states by millions of doses beginning next week. 

With those additional doses Biden said that the US has now acquired enough vaccines to fully vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of the summer or early fall; that’s nearly the entire population in America. When he announced the acquisition of the additional doses he referred to combating the Covid-19 pandemic as a “wartime undertaking,” especially considering the mess that he was left with from the previous administration. 

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“We now have a national strategy to beat Covid-19. It’s comprehensive, it’s based on science, not politics. It’s based on truth, not denial, and it’s detailed.”

The deal entails the US purchasing 100 million more doses from Pfizer/BioNTech and 100 million more from Moderna as well; the only two drugmakers with approved vaccines in the US. The two-dose vaccines that have been granted emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration will hopefully be joined by other vaccines from the handful of other developers around the world nearing completion of their vaccine trials. 

However, as it currently stands the US can potentially get by with just the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine options. The new purchase will increase the current Covid-19 vaccine supply from 400 million to 600 million, according to an official working within the Biden administration. The President also committed to increasing weekly vaccine supplies for certain states, tribes, and territories; upping the amount of minimum doses distributed weekly to 10 million. 

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Biden’s Covid coordinator, Jeff Zients, informed governors this Tuesday that the Covid vaccine allocations for states will begin increasing by around 16% starting next week. The President claims that the US will soon be able to vaccinate up to 1.5 million people every day, and the nation could surpass that initial target after three weeks if all goes to plan. 

So far there have been around 22.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines administered to Americans. Biden’s initial goal was to get 100 million Americans fully vaccinated within his first 100 days in office, and with this new promise of increased distribution, he should have no issue meeting that goal. 

3.3 million Americans have received their second, and therefore final, dose of the Covid-19 vaccine treatment as of Tuesday evening. The President claimed that ensuring facilities have enough of the vaccine, syringes, and other necessary equipment/staff to administer the vaccines will be top priority along with this increased production. 

Biden signed an executive order on his first day in office that would speed up the development and distribution of these supplies. He claimed that the worst part of his current administration’s plan is the fact that they’re essentially starting from scratch after 421,000+ Americans have already died. “The sad part is the last administration didn’t leave anything, didn’t even leave a plan.” However, Biden and his administration are confident that within the coming months more and more Americans will be vaccinated and life can begin to feel a little normal again. 

CDC Director Admits The US Doesn’t ‘Have Enough Vaccines’ To Keep Up With Demands

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, spoke to the media this past Sunday admitting that America doesn’t have enough Covid-19 vaccines to meet every states’ specific needs. The announcement comes after states like New York and Georgia have begun pleading with the federal government to send them more doses. 

“Right now, that is the pressure point that I am feeling and by the end of March or so I really do hope our production scale has scaled up dramatically and that we actually have way more than we have right now.”

This Sunday America surpassed more than 25 million Covid-19 cases and 417,900 deaths recorded since the beginning of the pandemic. President Joe Biden initially promised that 100 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine would be distributed within the first 100 days that he’s in office, but if the nation continues at the rate it’s going the entire country would be lucky to have received their first dose by the end of the year.

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“Yes, we have to go faster…I think the supply is going to be the most limiting constraint early on,” Walensky said, adding that the nation was able to complete its goal of one million doses every day this past Saturday with around 1,060,000 doses administered. “We’re really hoping that after the first 100 days we’ll have much more production, not just for these two vaccines, but we’re hopeful we’ll have another one from Johnson & Johnson in the weeks ahead and perhaps a fourth one coming down the pipeline. So we’re really hoping that we’ll have more vaccines and that will increase the pace at which we can do the vaccinations,” she added.  

When asked about the difficulty that the Biden administration is facing in regards to inheriting Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic, Walensky explained that “one of the biggest issues right now is how much vaccine doses America has.  If I can’t tell that to you then I can’t tell it to the governors and I can’t tell it to the state health officials. If they don’t know how much vaccine they’re getting, not just this week but next week and the week after, they can’t plan. They can’t figure out how many sites to roll out, how many vaccinators they need and how many appointments to make for the public,’ Walensky said.

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“The fact that we don’t know today, five days into this administration and weeks into planning how much vaccine we have, just gives you a sense of the challenges we’ve been left with from the previous administration.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called on Biden to “do whatever he can to increase the supply,” claiming that the state’s vaccine stockpile may already be exhausted completely. Cuomo explained that “the federal government allocates dosages by week, and yesterday we exhausted all five weeks allocation. We are now starting to receive week 6 allocations which trickle in during the week, they’re delivered by Washington to individual locations.

“We’ll be getting 250,000 dosages in week 6, but it could take up to 17 weeks to inoculate the seven million New Yorkers currently eligible for the vaccine unless the federal government begins to send more.”

Joe Biden’s pick for Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, claimed that “the Biden administration is saying the federal government will have a much heavier hand than the previous administration.” Data from the CDC directly showed that 20,537,990 vaccines have been administered in the US to date.

Stressed Out Nurse

CDC Warns That US Is Expected To Have 500,000 Covid-19 Deaths By February

The US is about to hit 400,000 Covid-19 related deaths as it endures the worst phase of the pandemic yet. With the rollout of multiple vaccines and a new administration entering the White House, who’s promising that future coronavirus protocols will be based on science and have nothing to do with politics, many Americans are hopeful, however the CDC is warning that the damage has been done, and the nation should expect to hit half a million deaths within the next month. 

“By the middle of February, we expect half a million coronavirus deaths in America.” 

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UCLA epidemiologist Dr. Anne Rimoin recently spoke with the media about the news of a new Covid-19 variant discovered in Los Angeles that is thought to be much more transmissible than the already extremely contagious Covid-19 virus that we’ve been battling for the past ten months. California currently leads the entire world in coronavirus cases with over 3 million residents currently infected. 

Rimoin discussed how she suspects there are more variants active throughout the population, and compared searching for these variants to “shining a flashlight in the dark, because you’re going to see something if you start to look, we just haven’t been looking.” It’s expected that with the Biden administration promising to lead future Covid procedures based on the panel of healthcare experts and scientists – who are being sworn to lead without any political bias – that these variants will be easier to find, which will help lead to containment efforts. 

Nationwide rollouts of the vaccine’s have led to some major confusion as well. Initially the US wanted to have 20 million people vaccinated with their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by the end of 2020, and as of five days ago the CDC reported only 6 million Americans have received their first dose so far.

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Florida, which is another US hot spot for Covid-19 due to a complete lack of enforcement of policy in regard to keeping bars and restaurants open, has been struggling greatly in terms of vaccine rollouts. According to immunocompromised Palm Beach resident Elizabeth Johnson, “you can’t get an appointment, you can’t buy an appointment, it’s all very unclear so what are we supposed to do?”

That level of confusion has been relatively common throughout the US in terms of vaccinations. Florida’s department of health has claims that more than 40,000 individuals are already overdue to receive their second dose of the vaccine. The timing of this new science-led administrative response to the pandemic couldn’t have come at a better time for this country. In LA County current data shows that one person is dying every six minutes; meanwhile all malls and gyms in LA remain open. 

Coroner office’s are so overwhelmed by the influx of bodies that LA County has eased up on their air pollution and quality rules to allow for more cremations to occur, and they’re not alone. Metropolitan hospitals all throughout the US are overwhelmed to a degree that is so much exponentially worse than where we were at even a few months ago. Only time will tell how much this new administration is able to get this pandemic finally under control.

Congress in Capitol

House Voting On Resolution Calling On Pence To Invoke 25th Amendment 

The House is gearing up to vote on a resolution this Tuesday that would call on current Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from office following last week’s riot at the Capitol building that the current standing president helped insurrect. 

The measure that the House is introducing claims that Pence should convene and mobilize Trump’s Cabinet to activate the 25th Amendment and declare the president “incapable of executing the duties of his office and to immediately exercise powers as acting president.” The resolution itself is sponsored by Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin. 

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A mob of hundreds of pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building last week after Trump made a speech further emphasizing his belief that Biden won the 2020 election illegally and that this was one of the most “fraudulent elections in US history.” The crowd of angry rioters then stormed the Capitol building after Trump ended his speech claiming that they would be walking to the Capitol to make their voices heard; the president was nowhere to be found once the riot began though. 

The six-page resolution stated that the mob of rioters “threatened the safety and lives of the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, and the President pro tempore of the Senate, the first three individuals in the line of succession to the presidency, as the rioters were recorded chanting ‘Hang Mike Pence’ and ‘Where’s Nancy’ when Trump tweeted to his supporters that ‘Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country.’”

The measure also lays out a slew of evidence that Trump incited his supporters to commit acts of violence at the Capitol building, as the president has “demonstrated repeatedly, continuously and spectacularly his absolute inability to discharge the most basic and fundamental powers and duties of his office.” 

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Trump’s disrespect over the 2020 election and democratic process within the past two months is also mentioned quite a bit in the measure, as his complete disinterest in participating in a peaceful transition of power has only further motivated his supporters to “take back the White House” and give it to Trump, as that’s who they believe rightfully won the election. 

Pence is unlikely to remove Trump from office, especially considering House Democrats have also introduced articles of impeachment against the president that could likely be passed before inauguration. Sources close to Pence also claim that at this point he’s just trying to make it to January 20th “in one piece.” 

According to senior White House officials Pence and Trump met in the Oval Office on Monday morning in which they discussed the past four years and the attacks on the Capitol building. They apparently both said that those who broke the law and stormed the building “don’t represent America.” 

The House is projected to vote this Wednesday on an article of impeachment that would charge Trump with “incitement of insurrection” in motivating his supporters to storm the Capitol last week and fight. If passed the Senate will then hold a trial to determine whether or not Trump should be convicted and will potentially eliminate his ability to run for office again. 

The White House

President-Elect Joe Biden Reveals Health Team That Will Lead Future Pandemic Response

Joe Biden and his administration made the announcement this Monday that they had decided on the team that would be guiding the nation in their response to the Covid-19 pandemic once Biden takes office in January.

2020 Election Ballot

Attorney General Claims There Is No Evidence Of Widespread Election Fraud

Attorney General William Barr declared on Tuesday that the US Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of any widespread voter fraud that would change the 2020 election outcome, disputing the constant baseless claims from current president Donald Trump that he won his reelection. 

Barr’s comments made to the media reflect a major contradiction from Trump, who’s been trying to block President-elect Joe Biden from beginning a peaceful transition of power since the results for Pennsylvania were initially announced almost a month ago. 

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.”

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The comments immediately drew criticism from Trump’s attorneys, who before this point were working with Barr in claims that mail-in voting could be vulnerable to fraud especially considering we’re in the middle of a global health crisis. However, after numerous FBI reviews of specific complaints coming from Trump’s team and various locations, not one single piece of evidence of voter fraud has appeared. 

Trump himself hasn’t directly commented on Barr’s statement, however, his personally attorney Rudy Giuliani and his political campaign released a passionate statement in which they claimed that there “hasn’t been any semblance of an investigation into the president’s complaints,” despite the numerous government organizations and authorities that have claimed investigations occurred to no avail. 

Other administration officials and agencies who spoke out against Trump’s dangerous allegations against America’s democracy were fired almost immediately; which didn’t exactly convince the American people that the president’s claims were valid. Last month Barr issued a directive to all US attorneys which allowed them to pursue any “substantial allegations of voting irregularities” that they felt was necessary.

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That directive memo gave prosecutors the ability to go against a policy that has been long standing within the US’s Justice Department that would normally prohibit any investigation into voter irregularities from occurring before the election is officially called; let alone investigations being performed with no evidence and solely based on the current president’s claims. 

The switch up from the Attorney General, someone who has been riding for the current president in terms of all of his voter suppression and fraud claims, marks a major turning point in the contention over the 2020 election results. Trump himself has continuously taken to twitter and interviews to falsely claim that he won the 2020 election, the results were fraudulent, and Biden won with false votes. 

Despite claims that there are many witnesses who swore under oath that they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud, the Department of Justice hasn’t interviewed a single one of them due to a complete lack of evidence beyond the statements. Trump has still yet to concede, but the transition of powers has already begun taking place, and it’s likely that within the coming weeks the former president will have no choice but to accept defeat and hand the White House over to Biden.