Pressure for US President Donald Trump to start the transition process to US president-elect Joe Biden built among Republicans in the US Congress on Friday as several voiced doubts over Trump’s claims of fraudulent voting.
US Senator Lamar Alexander, who is retiring at the end of the year, said that Biden had a “very good chance” of becoming the next president, and urged the Trump administration to begin the transition process.
The loser of this election should “put the country first, congratulate the winner and help him to a good beginning of the new term,” the senator wrote in a statement.
US Representative Fred Upton told reporters that “I’ve not seen any evidence of fraud that would overturn 150,000 and some votes” that Biden leads Trump by in his home state.
“No one has shown any evidence” of fraud in Michigan, Upton said.
There is a “right way and a wrong way” for Trump to contest what he “perceives as election irregularities,” US Senator Susan Collins said in a statement.
“The right way is to compile the evidence and mount legal challenges in our courts. The wrong way is to attempt to pressure state election officials,” she said.
Biden should receive the “briefings, office space and access to government resources he needs to be ready to govern on inauguration day,” Collins said.
US Senator Dan Sullivan told reporters that Trump has “a high bar” to prove his claims that the election has been stolen by Democrats.
“And they’ve got to prove it in court,” Sullivan said.
US Senator Mitt Romney, who has been a Trump critic, wrote on Twitter late on Thursday that Trump had failed to make a “plausible case” of widespread election fraud, and was now trying to pressure state and local officials to overturn the election.
“It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action,” he wrote.
Until now, Republicans in the US Congress have mostly said Trump should have latitude in pursuing legal claims of wrongdoing in the election.
Now, there is a cascading effect under way in the party, according to one Republican strategist who has advised campaigns for several years.
First “never Trumpers” called on Trump to begin turning over power to Biden almost immediately after the Nov. 3 election, the strategist said on Friday, followed by “marginal never Trumpers” a week later.
They are now being joined by Republicans who supported him reluctantly over the past four years, he said.
“In reality, Republicans all over are turning the page” on Trump’s presidency, he said.
‘HARD DECISION’: The international medical society now only refers to Taiwanese groups as from ‘Chinese Taipei,’ after the WHO asked that it make the change Two Taiwanese medical groups have been forced to change the word “Taiwan” in their membership names for the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists (ISRRT) to “Chinese Taipei,” due to a request by the WHO. The two groups are the Taiwan Society of Radiological Technologists (TWSRT) and the Taiwan Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (TAMRT). On Dec. 23 last year, the TAMRT posted on Facebook screenshots of a letter it received from the ISRRT, informing it that the two groups’ membership names would be changed from “Taiwan - TWSRT” and “Taiwan - TAMRT” to “Chinese Taipei - TWSRT” and “Chinese Taipei
‘NO MORE’: Pompeo’s decision was not rushed before the change of administration, but was the result of a long review of Taiwan-US ties, a US assistant secretary said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday announced that the US Department of State is voiding long-standing restrictions on how US diplomats and others have contact with their counterparts in Taiwan, just a little over a week before US president-elect Joe Biden is sworn in. Pompeo instructed executive branch agencies to consider “all ‘contact guidelines’ regarding relations with Taiwan ... to be null and void.” “For several decades the State Department has created complex internal restrictions to regulate our diplomats, service members, and other officials’ interactions with their Taiwanese counterparts,” Pompeo said in a statement. “The United States government took these actions
CONTACTS TRACED: The doctor and his nurse girlfriend, who also tested positive, have only mild symptoms, but their cases have led to hundreds of people being tested The first case of a doctor contracting COVID-19 after treating an infected patient was one of two locally transmitted cases and two imported cases reported by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday. The second local case, No. 839, is the doctor’s girlfriend, a nurse who works at the same hospital. Case No. 838, a man in his 30s, is a doctor in a hospital in northern Taiwan that has been treating COVID-19 cases, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. He was in a negative-pressure isolation ward where one of the confirmed patients was staying
DEPARTURE CEREMONY: Guam’s governor hailed the US’ move to end restrictions on contacts with Taiwanese officials, saying it would help the territory build ties with Taipei A humanitarian charter flight, carrying dozens of people who had either been stranded on Guam and Saipan amid border closures or were in need of medical treatment, arrived in Taiwan at 5:25pm yesterday. The flight, operated by China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), landed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport with 47 passengers and 13 crew aboard. Five of the passengers had applied to local hospitals for treatment of tumors, heart arrhythmia or other conditions, and were approved by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, while four more are family members, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the spokesman