President Trump spoke publicly on Friday for the first time since Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election six days ago, but again declined to acknowledge his defeat.
Trump spoke from the Rose Garden at the White House, delivering an update on vaccine efforts. He said that once a COVID vaccine is available, as soon as April, he will withhold it from the state of New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been critical of the administration’s distribution plan.
But Trump also glancingly acknowledged the possibility that he will no longer be president by then, saying “time will tell.”
“This administration will not be going to a lockdown,” Trump said. “Hopefully, the — whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration will be, I guess time will tell, but I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown.”
The networks called Georgia for Biden on Friday, putting him at 306 electoral votes, while a hand recount was underway in the battleground state. Biden was also called the winner of Arizona on Thursday. The Trump campaign has continued to file lawsuits seeking to challenge vote counting procedures in several states, but many of those cases have been dismissed and have not slowed the certification process.
Trump left the podium without taking questions.
President-elect Biden met Friday with his COVID-19 advisers, and again called on Americans to wear masks, practice social distancing and wash their hands.
“I am the president-elect, but I will not be president until next year,” Biden said in a statement. “The crisis does not respect dates on the calendar, it is accelerating right now. Urgent action is needed today, now, by the current administration — starting with an acknowledgment of how serious the current situation is.”