Health And Human Services Staffers Reportedly Told To Ignore Biden’s Team

 

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Senators headed home a day early on Wednesday for their Thanksgiving recess, even as COVID-19 relief talks remain on the table. The last round of coronavirus relief legislation expired in July, and with it, boosted unemployment benefits. Further provisions, including jobless benefits for those who expend their state unemployment and pandemic funding for state and local governments, are set to expire at the end of the year. While the House passed its own follow-up legislation months ago, the Senate and White House have not agreed on a relief bill and show no sign of doing so before the year ends. “I just get the sense that Mitch McConnell sees absolutely zero urgency,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). The Senate will return Nov. 30, just 3 weeks before another recess for the rest of the year.

Staffers in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have reportedly been told to make this presidential transition even harder.

President Trump and his administration have so far refused to cooperate with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, or even acknowledge that a new administration is headed to the White House. That’s especially problematic considering the U.S. has been fighting a deadly pandemic for months, and Biden’s health officials need to start working on an eventual vaccine distribution plan. But as CNN’s Kristen Holmes reports via an administration official, members of Trump’s HHS were told Wednesday not to respond if they’re contacted by Biden’s team, and to flag such communications to a higher-up.

 

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