Officials overseeing the distribution and planning of COVID vaccines aren't interested in sharing information with anyone in president-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration, Democratic senators say.
Biden says their withholding of information would be "deadly."
Neither the president nor vice president Mike Pence have publicly acknowledged news reports in the past days saying more than 250,000 Americans have died from coronavirus.
Pence, as he has done in the past, highlighted the "impressive" performance of the government's effort to contain the virus - in particular progress on a vaccine under its "Operation Warp Speed."
"Just off a conference call with Trump Administration vaccine distribution team... they confirmed that they have not briefed anyone on president-elect Biden's team and have no plans to do so," Reuters quoted Senator Chris Murphy as saying on Twitter. He added what Trump's vaccine team is doing was "potentially catastrophic."
Biden revealed a host of data hadn't been released to his transition team - including distribution plans for COVID vaccines. His administration is set to take over the White House Jan. 20.
In a letter to Trump on Tuesday, leaders of the U.S. medical industry said failure to promptly share critical COVID information with Biden's administration would cause "needless, deadly delays" in tackling the world health crisis.
Trump's top pandemic medical adviser Dr. Scott Atlas has been absent from most White House task force meetings since late September, according to two administration officials. There have been claims Atlas continues to spread false information about the worsening pandemic.
Despite a convincing margin of victory for Biden, Trump continues to refuse to concede defeat. His legal challenges have mostly been denied.
Meanwhile, Biden late Thursday committed to keeping the U.S. economy open. "I am not going to shut down the economy, period," Biden said. "I'm going to shut down the virus." He emphasized: "no national shutdown."
Previously, Biden said he would follow the advice of medical experts. Biden said he would pursue public-health measures to keep the economy running smoothly by keeping the virus under control. He added that capacity restrictions in businesses, restaurants and other venues would still be necessary.