US election: ‘Whatever happens’ – Donald Trump drops subtle election defeat admission during White House appearance

President Donald Trump has delivered his first public remarks since losing the US election to Joe Biden with an appearance in the White House’s Rose Garden.

Trump called the briefing to give an update on Operation Warp Speed, which is his administration’s effort to accelerate the development and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine.

But it was a comment he made about future Covid measures that really caught the audience’s attention.

“I will not be going to a lockdown,” the President said.

“Hopefully the, the ah – whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration it will be, I guess time will tell – but I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown.”

Trump has refused to concede since Joe Biden was declared President-elect six days ago.

During the press briefing, Trump claimed Operation Warp Speed proceeded in “record time”.

“No medical breakthrough of this scope or magnitude has ever been achieved this quickly,” he said.

US Covid-19 cases have surpassed 10 million, with 163,000 new infections yesterday.

Pfizer, which announced last week that early results showed its Covid vaccine was 90 per cent effective, made “an unfortunate misrepresentation” when it said the vaccine development was not part of Operation Warp Speed, Trump said.

Pfizer did not accept US federal funding to help develop or manufacture the vaccine, unlike front-runners Moderna and AstraZeneca, the New York Times reported.

Authorisation for the Pfizer vaccine would come down “very soon”, Trump said.

Final election results called

Meanwhile, most US news networks have called the final batch of states, giving a complete election result at last.

Trump is the projected winner in North Carolina, whereas both Arizona and Georgia have been called for Biden.

The Trump campaign is still pursuing legal action, and recounts have been called in both Georgia and Wisconsin – but neither of those factors are likely to change the results.

Assuming the results remain the same, Biden has won 306 electoral votes – the same number Trump won four years ago.

What Trump would need to do to overturn Biden's win

So, now that we have the final result, let’s get a bit theoretical.

Joe Biden has won 306 electoral votes. What would Donald Trump have to do, hypothetically, to overturn the result?

The path of least resistance here (I’m using that term loosely) would be for the President’s legal team to somehow flip:

1. Georgia (where Biden is up by 14,000 votes)

2. Pennsylvania (Biden is up by 59,000)

3. Arizona (Biden is up by 11,000)

Those three would do it.

Trump has also been talking about Wisconsin (where Biden leads by 20,000) and Michigan (where he leads by 148,000). There is going to be a recount in Wisconsin, though it would be most unusual for that to shift more than a few hundred votes.

The most fundamental point here hasn’t changed – Trump and his lawyers have yet to produce any evidence to back up their claims of widespread fraud. None of the lawsuits they’ve filed so far would threaten Biden’s margin in a single one of the states listed above.

Put aside the fact that many of those lawsuits have been promptly thrown out by judges due to lack of proof. They simply don’t involve enough votes to shift the election’s outcome anyway.

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