President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede coincides with an especially bad moment in the course of the pandemic. COVID-19 cases are spiking all over the United States. Almost 62,000 Americans were hospitalized on Tuesday alone. Hospitals are quickly running out of space for new patients. Tens of thousands may die between now and President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
A newly announced medical breakthrough could help stop this American carnage: Preliminary results from Pfizer’s vaccine trial suggest that it is more than 90 percent effective. If those results hold, tens of millions of Americans could be inoculated against the virus as soon as early 2021. Other vaccines may prove effective too. But taking full advantage of this development requires careful planning, as large-scale vaccination campaigns present tremendous logistical challenges.
Trump ought to be working closely with his successor’s transition team, particularly the men and women chosen to coordinate Biden’s pandemic response, because even a short delay in a vaccine’s rollout could cost tens of thousands of lives. Instead, he spends his days tweeting dubious stories about alleged voter fraud.