Please Explain podcast: Biden begins transition as US braces for Thanksgiving COVID surge

Donald Trump’s efforts to fight the results of the US presidential election have been dealt a major blow, after the key federal government agency in charge of presidential transitions gave Joe Biden the green light to formally begin the transfer of power.

Trump responded by instructing his team to participate in the transition process – a major softening in the President’s rhetoric, even as he insisted he would continue to fight for a second term.

Usually a period of gratitude and celebration, Friday’s Thanksgiving holiday is alarming public health experts in the United States as coronavirus continues to surge across the country.

The US is recording an average of 170,000 new cases and 1500 deaths per day.

Epidemiologists believe it’s almost certain Thanksgiving will push those numbers higher and are worried people are putting too much faith in getting a negative COVID-19 test before travelling to celebrate with their family, an approach that’s been dubbed “test before turkey”.

In this episode, national editor Tory Maguire and North America correspondent Matthew Knott discuss the commencement of Biden's administration and the danger Thanksgiving poses to the already devastating coronavirus surge in the US.


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