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Trump is urged by doctors, hospitals to give COVID data to Biden

Donald Trump.
Donald Trump.Al Drago/Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Groups representing doctors, nurses, and hospitals urged President Donald Trump to share information about the administration’s coronavirus response with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team.

Delaying the transition could cost lives as a new surge of cases has put a record number of Americans in the hospital with Covid-19, the groups said Tuesday in a letter to Trump.

“Real-time data and information on the supply of therapeutics, testing supplies, personal protective equipment, ventilators, hospital bed capacity and workforce availability to plan for further deployment of the nation’s assets needs to be shared to save countless lives,” leaders of the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Nurses Association wrote in the letter.

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Biden is poised to take power in a crucial period of the pandemic. New therapies and vaccines are getting closer to reaching the public, even as cases reach record levels and holiday gatherings may accelerate the spread of disease.

Biden said Monday that the standoff with Trump, who has refused to concede the election, might cost lives. “More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” he said.

The government’s official process of handing power to a new administration involves incoming teams of transition officials getting up to speed on agency operations and planning their first moves in office. That’s a complicated undertaking in normal times. The pandemic and complexity of distributing vaccines raise the stakes.

A chaotic transition could pose challenges for a health-care industry and workforce already strained by the ongoing emergency, the groups said.

Information on supplies in the Strategic National Stockpile, the Operation Warp Speed effort to accelerate vaccines and therapies, and plans for distributing medicines should “be shared as quickly as possible to ensure that there is continuity in strategic planning so that there is no lapse in our ability to care for patients,” the group leaders wrote.

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