US President-elect Joe Biden took the first steps Sunday towards moving into the White House in 73 days, as Donald Trump again refused to admit defeat and tried to sow doubt about the election results.
Biden and his advisors spent their Sunday planning how to address the nation's coronavirus crisis. His transition website lists four priorities: Covid-19, economic recovery, racial equity, and climate change.
"The team being assembled will meet these challenges on Day One," it said in a reference to January 20, 2021, when Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.
Biden, who turns 78 on November 20, is the oldest person ever elected to the White House. Harris, 56, a senator from California, is the first woman, first Black person, and first South Asian person to be elected vice president.
Biden plans to name a task force on Monday to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, which has left more than 237,000 people dead in the United States and is surging across the country.
Reportedly, Biden's healthcare advisors held talks with drugmaker executives on the US government's Operation Warp Speed program to accelerate the development of a possible COVID-19 treatment, a Biden spokesman said on Sunday.
Biden's advisors met with companies that have COVID-19 vaccines or therapies in late-stage clinical trials in September and October, Bloomberg News had reported earlier.
The report added that the meeting was aimed at gathering information about the development, manufacturing and distribution of shots to ward off the novel coronavirus and therapies to treat the sick.
He has also announced plans to rejoin the Paris climate accord and will reportedly issue an executive order on his first day in office reversing Trump's travel ban on mostly Muslim countries.
Biden has vowed to name a cabinet that reflects the diversity of the country, although he may have trouble gaining approval for more progressive appointees if Republicans retain control of the Senate -- an outcome that will depend on two runoff races in Georgia in January.
In a speech in his home state of Delaware on Saturday, Biden delivered a message of unity and conciliation, declaring that it is "time to heal" the nation and reaching out to Americans who voted for Trump and to congressional Republicans.
"The work starts right away," Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield said on Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" program.
Biden has promised to improve access to coronavirus testing and, unlike Trump, to heed the advice of leading public health officials and scientists.
Biden and his advisors also will move forward with the work of choosing officials to serve in his administration.
Biden pledged that as president he would seek to unify the United States and "marshal the forces of decency" to battle the pandemic, restore economic prosperity, secure healthcare for American families and root out systemic racism.
"For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I've lost a couple of times myself. But now, let's give each other a chance. It's time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again," Biden said.
"This is the time to heal in America," Biden added.
Meanwhile, Trump played golf at his course near Washington, the same place where he was Saturday when the US television networks delivered the news that Biden had secured enough Electoral College votes for victory.
"Since when does the Lamestream Media call who our next president will be?" Trump complained in a tweet on Sunday.
Trump plans to file a string of lawsuits in the coming week, according to his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who said he had "a lot of evidence" of fraud.