WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden has been forced to seek extraordinary workarounds to prepare for the exploding public health threat and evolving national security challenges he will inherit in just nine weeks.
Blocked from the official intelligence briefing traditionally afforded to incoming presidents, Biden gathered virtually on Tuesday with a collection of intelligence, defense and diplomatic experts. He's also expected to hold his own meetings with vaccine makers this week to help determine his own distribution plan.
Two weeks after the election, Trump continues to block Biden’s access to his administration’s pandemic and national security briefings, falsely claiming without evidence that Biden is not the legitimate president-elect.
Biden has also announced top White House staff positions, drawing from the senior ranks of his campaign and some of his closest confidants.
He confirmed that former campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon will serve as a deputy chief of staff. Campaign co-chair Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond and campaign adviser Steve Ricchetti will hold senior roles in the new administration.
The new hires represent an initial wave of what will ultimately be hundreds of new White House aides hired in the coming weeks.
The latest round reflects his pledge to have diversity in his staff — the team includes four people of color and five women.