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Thursday, Nov 12, 2020 12:00 [IST]

Last Update: Thursday, Nov 12, 2020 06:28 [IST]

No time to waste

Even as President Donald Trump was still refusing to concede his election loss as expected, president-elect Democrat Joe Biden immediately moved ahead anyway with the first meeting of a parallel coronavirus task force, initiating an awkward and potentially volatile transition period.

Traditionally, Trump would by now not only have accepted the results of Tuesday's election but started assisting the incoming administration before the January 20 handover. Construction has already begun along Pennsylvania Avenue for the ceremonies. However, the next weeks threaten to push the United States into unprecedented new tension after the already bitter election.

Trump is loudly claiming the election was stolen, despite all-but completed vote counts across the 50 states showing Biden with an insurmountable lead. No proof has been provided for allegations of significant irregularities that Trump's team insists occurred.

President-elect Biden started the first week of his transition focused on the coronavirus pandemic, as both political parties weigh how to handle potential distribution of a vaccine in light of positive news from Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE. Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received their first briefing Monday on the pandemic from the transition team’s newly announced 13-member Covid-19 advisory board, after a study showed the Pfizer vaccine to be more than 90% effective in the first 94 subjects who were infected by the new coronavirus and developed at least one symptom. The board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.

Mr. Biden congratulated the scientists who had been working on the vaccine but said that mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing would be the best defense against the coronavirus until next year at the earliest, which does send out a strong message across the globe on the seriousness of the pandemic situation. Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles his administration will face, Biden said in a statement announcing his task force of respected scientists. Of course, it also reinforces Biden’s commitments towards addressing the pandemic head-on.

Although Biden is wasting little time in moving to confront the Covid-19 pandemic, but many observers fear the crisis could get much worse before he is sworn in 10 weeks from now and is able to begin to execute his plans. It’s a race against time.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi