George W. Bush

Former Bush Chief of Staff Cites 9/11 Commission, Warns About Slow Transition

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  • George W. Bush’s Chief of Staff Andy Card said "it’s concerning" that the Trump administration has refused to cooperate with President-elect Biden’s transition team amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Card explained the importance of transition time and cited the 9/11 Commission on the Bush administration's shortened time in the context of the September 11 attacks.
  • Card said its "hyperbole beyond expectation" to say that somebody stole the election

George W. Bush's Chief of Staff Andy Card told CNBC that "it's concerning" that the Trump administration has refused to cooperate with President-elect Biden's transition team, as the nation faces the worst public health crisis in a century.

"This pandemic demands that we get it [democracy] to work, and I don't know why the Trump administration won't share the details of trying to get vaccines into the states to the people at the right time, the right way, and mitigate the problem," said Card. 

Coronavirus hospitalizations have hit an all-time high across the nation with nearly 62,000 infected patients in hospitals right now, according to Johns Hopkins. New cases continue to skyrocket and are still rising in 49 states. The U.S. has topped 100,000 new cases every day for more than a week and more than 1,400 Americans just died from Covid in a single day.

In an interview with CNBC correspondent Eamon Javers, former Obama administration Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius highlighted the importance of the Biden administration knowing where the PPE is located. That knowledge, she said, will be critical for the Biden administration if it invokes the Defense Production Act to push the PPE out to hospitals amid a surge in coronavirus cases. 

"Having a seamless transfer of information, having discussions in advance can only help get vaccines to the right places at the right time, and help governors understand what it is that they can count on from the federal government and what they need to put in place," said Sebelius.  

Card helped guide Bush's campaign through the 2000 recount, which held back the transition from President Bill Clinton to Bush for 37 days. In a Wednesday evening interview on "The News with Shepard Smith," Card put the transition time into perspective when it comes to a national crisis. 

"The 9/11 Commission had said if there had been a longer transition and there had been cooperation, there might have been a better response, or maybe not even any attack," the former chief of staff said. "This is very serious, so we're calling on the president to open up the transition office, give the money out, let people start transitioning, and get ready to take the baton at January 20th at noontime, even if we don't know the full results." 

While Card highlighted that he believed all the votes needed to be counted, he told host Shepard Smith that Bush did the right thing in calling and congratulating Joe Biden. 

"I think it's hyperbole beyond expectation, not credibility, to say that somebody stole the election, they didn't," said Card. "A record number of people voted, actually everybody should be celebrating that, that's the sign of a great democracy.

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