‘WHATEVER HAPPENS’: Trump’s subtle election defeat admission

 

Welcome to our live coverage of the continued fallout from the US election.  

Donald Trump has delivered his first public remarks since losing to Joe Biden, with an appearance in the White House's Rose Garden.

The President provided an update on Operation Warp Speed, which is his administration's effort to accelerate the development and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine.

He briefly alluded to the election result while reiterating his opposition to lockdowns.

"I will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully the, the ah - whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration it will be, I guess time will tell - but I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown," Mr Trump said.

This wasn't the first time we had seen Mr Trump since the election was called. He did briefly pop out for a game of golf last Sunday, and then for a Veterans Day service later in the week. And of course, he's been tweeting baseless theories about voter fraud pretty much nonstop.

It was, however, the first time he'd spoken on camera.

Meanwhile, the US news networks have called the final batch of states, giving us a complete election result at last.

Mr Trump is the projected winner in North Carolina, whereas both Arizona and Georgia have been called for Mr Biden.

The Trump campaign is still pursuing legal action, and we have recounts to come in both Georgia and Wisconsin, so there's still a bit of an asterisk here. But neither of those factors are likely to change any of the results.

So, assuming nothing changes, Mr Biden has won 306 electoral votes - the same number Mr Trump won four years ago.

Trump ends his media conference

Sam Clench

Donald Trump ended his media conference without taking questions, so we didn't get anything apart from his prepared statement and those of a few government officials.

Anyway, as promised, I've gone back and checked New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's remarks. They came during an appearance on Good Morning America a few days ago, where host George Stephanopoulos asked Mr Cuomo about the news from Pfizer's vaccine trials.

I'm going to hit you with the relevant part of the transcript, and you can judge for yourself whether Mr Trump mischaracterised his comments.

Stephanopoulos: "Governor Cuomo, thanks for coming back. Again, this morning we were talking about the importance of vaccine distribution in the next two months. What do you make of this news?"

Cuomo: "It's good news, bad news, George. The good news is that the Pfizer tests look good and we'll have a vaccine shortly. The bad news is that it's about two months before Joe Biden takes over, and that means this administration is going to be implementing a vaccine plan. The vaccine plan is very important. It's probably the most ambitious undertaking since COVID began. Just to put it in focus, we did 120 million COVID tests in this nation over seven months, scrambling, doing everything we can. We now have to do 330 million vaccinations, maybe twice. My state does more testing than any state in the United States. We did 12 million tests. We have to do 20 million vaccines. The Trump administration is rolling out the vaccination plan and I believe it's flawed. I believe it learns nothing from the past. They're basically going to have the private providers do it and that's going to leave out all sorts of communities that were left out the first time when COVID ravaged them."

Stephanopoulos: "So what needs to be done that the Trump administration won't do that president-elect Biden could do?"

Cuomo: "When you deny a problem the way Trump did, you can never solve it and that's true in life. The Trump administration denied COVID, so they were never ready for it. There was no mobilisation of the government. They're still doing the same thing. They're going to take this vaccine and they're going to go through the private mechanism: through hospitals, through drug market chains, et cetera. That's going to be slow and that's going to bypass the communities that we call health care deserts. If you don't have a Rite Aide or a CVS, then you're in trouble. That's what happened the first time with COVID. Why do we have such a disparity in the infection rate and the mortality rate in COVID? Because some communities don't have the same access to health care. I'm sure the Biden administration is going to address that. I think his first step saying let's focus on the science, let's depoliticize testing data. Listen to the science is the exact opposite of Trump, but you have two months, and we can't let this vaccination plan go forward the way the Trump administration is designing it. Biden can't undo it two months later. We'll be in the midst of it. I've been talking to governors across the nation about that - how can we shape the Trump administration vaccine plan to fix it or stop it before it does damage?"

 

Trump says New York won't get vaccine straight away

Sam Clench

While promising a coronavirus vaccine would be distributed quickly, Donald Trump also said the state of New York would not be getting it.

He cited remarks by the state's Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.

"For political reasons, the governor decided to say - I don't think it's good politically - he wants to take his time with a vaccine, he doesn't trust where the vaccine is coming from," Mr Trump said.
"We won't be delivering it to New York until we have authorisation to do so, and it pains me to say that.
"The governor will have to let us know when he's ready for it. We can't be delivering it to a state that won't be giving it to its people immediately.
"He's had some very bad editorials recently about this statement and what's happened with respect to nursing homes. I hope he doesn't handle this as badly as he's handled the nursing homes."

I'll note, right off the bat here, that Mr Cuomo did screw up his initial response to the coronavirus and much of the criticism he's copped is well deserved.

I'll go back and check the remarks Mr Trump was referring to more thoroughly when this media conference is over. From memory, the President's words here feel like a mischaracterisation of what the New York governor said, but if I'm wrong about that I'll be sure to note it later.
"The good news is that the Pfizer tests look good and we'll have a vaccine shortly," Mr Cuomo said.

"The bad news is that it's about two months before Joe Biden takes over, and that means this administration is going to be implementing a vaccine plan."
He said the Trump administration's plan for rolling out the virus was "flawed".

I don't recall Mr Cuomo saying he wouldn't distribute the vaccine. Maybe I'm wrong. Again, I'll check that in a few minutes.
Mr Trump went on to repeat some of his more frequent boasts from the campaign trail, such as his claim that America's economic contraction due to the pandemic was the smallest among Western nations and had been followed by the fastest recovery.

"We went down less, and we went up more, which is quite a combination of facts," he said.

This is false. America's numbers on these metrics were far from the worst in the developed world, but they weren't the best either.

And Mr Trump said he would not be imposing any lockdowns due to the current surge in infections.
"I will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully whatever happens in the future - who knows what administration it will be - I will tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown," he said, alluding to his claims about widespread voter fraud."
"The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself. I've said it many times.

"When you look at what happens during a lockdown, I say it very loudly, it's horrible.
"This administration will not go, under any circumstances, into lockdown."
He asked Americans to "remain vigilant", especially heading into winter.

Judge says election claims 'incorrect and not credible'

Sam Clench

Speaking of Donald Trump's mounting number of defeats in court, he suffered another one in Michigan today.

The plaintiffs in the case wanted Judge Timothy Kenny to stop Wayne County, a heavily Democratic area that encompasses Detroit, from certifying its results.

Republican poll watchers made a bunch of allegations, most of which related to mail-in ballots.

In a rather scathing judgment, Judge Kenny said the claims were "incorrect and not credible" and the people making them did "not understand absent voter ballot processing and tabulating".

In essence, he found the Republicans had made unsubstantiated accusations of misconduct because they didn't know what they were talking about. Judge Kenny noted that the poll watchers had not attended a pre-election walkthrough of the process.

"Perhaps if plaintiff's election challenger affiants had attended the October 29, 2020 walkthrough of the TCF Center ballot counting location, questions and concerns could have been answered in advance of election day," he said.

What Trump would need to do to overturn Biden's win

Sam Clench

So, now that we have the final result, let's get a bit theoretical.

Joe Biden has won 306 electoral votes. What would Donald Trump have to do, hypothetically, to overturn the result?

The path of least resistance here (I'm using that term loosely) would be for the President's legal team to somehow flip:

1. Georgia (where Mr Biden is up by 14,000 votes)

2. Pennsylvania (Mr Biden is up by 59,000)

3. Arizona (Mr Biden is up by 11,000)

Those three would do it.

Mr Trump has also been talking about Wisconsin (where Mr Biden leads by 20,000) and Michigan (where he leads by 148,000). There is going to be a recount in Wisconsin, though it would be most unusual for that to shift more than a few hundred votes.

The most fundamental point here hasn't changed - Mr Trump and his lawyers have yet to produce any evidence to back up their claims of widespread fraud. None of the lawsuits they've filed so far would threaten Mr Biden's margin in a single one of the states listed above.

Put aside the fact that many of those lawsuits have been promptly thrown out by judges due to lack of proof. They simply don't involve enough votes to shift the election's outcome anyway.

LIVE  Last updated November 14, 2020 9:11AM AEDT

Welcome to our live coverage of the continued fallout from the US election.  

Donald Trump has delivered his first public remarks since losing to Joe Biden, with an appearance in the White House's Rose Garden.

The President provided an update on Operation Warp Speed, which is his administration's effort to accelerate the development and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine.

He briefly alluded to the election result while reiterating his opposition to lockdowns.

"I will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully the, the ah - whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration it will be, I guess time will tell - but I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown," Mr Trump said.

This wasn't the first time we had seen Mr Trump since the election was called. He did briefly pop out for a game of golf last Sunday, and then for a Veterans Day service later in the week. And of course, he's been tweeting baseless theories about voter fraud pretty much nonstop.

It was, however, the first time he'd spoken on camera.

Meanwhile, the US news networks have called the final batch of states, giving us a complete election result at last.

Mr Trump is the projected winner in North Carolina, whereas both Arizona and Georgia have been called for Mr Biden.

The Trump campaign is still pursuing legal action, and we have recounts to come in both Georgia and Wisconsin, so there's still a bit of an asterisk here. But neither of those factors are likely to change any of the results.

So, assuming nothing changes, Mr Biden has won 306 electoral votes - the same number Mr Trump won four years ago.

Read on for all the latest news. 

News Corp Australia


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