Biden focuses on transition, COVID-19 crisis, as Trump prolongs legal challenges

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    WASHINGTON/WILMINGTON, Del. — President-elect Joe Biden will continue to lay the groundwork for his administration on Thursday against the backdrop of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the United States, while President Donald Trump refuses to accept the election’s outcome.

    Biden named long-time adviser Ron Klain as his White House chief of staff on Wednesday, his first major appointment since winning the Nov. 3 presidential election.

    Klain, who served as President Barack Obama’s “Ebola Czar” in 2014 during an outbreak of that virus in West Africa, is expected to take a leading role in the Biden administration’s response to the nationwide spike in COVID-19 cases.

    Trump’s efforts to overturn the election’s results in key states have not kept Biden from making preparations to assume office on Jan. 20. The Democrat has spent much of the week huddling with advisers on staffing decisions.

    The incumbent, meanwhile, has shown no sign that he will concede even as his unproven allegations of widespread voter fraud in key states have met with skepticism from judges and legal analysts.

    Since the election was called for Biden by major news organizations on Saturday, Trump has maintained a minimal public schedule, preferring instead to air his grievances on Twitter, and has not addressed the climbing virus caseload nationwide.

    The United States as a whole reported more than 1,450 COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, the highest single-day count since mid-August, driving the total death toll above 239,000, according to a Reuters tally.