Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee has called on the president to allow for the transition process to the Biden administration to begin, specifically to assist in coronavirus vaccine distribution.
“If there is any chance whatsoever that Joe Biden will be the next president, and it looks like he has a very good chance, the Trump administration should provide the Biden team with all the transition materials, resources, and meetings necessary to ensure a smooth transition so both sides are ready on day one,” he said.
“That especially should be true, for example, on vaccine distribution,” he added.
Mr Alexander, 80, is one of the most senior members of the GOP and is stepping down in January. He holds the position of chairman for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
His statement makes him the most senior member of the GOP to acknowledge the transition process and call for Mr Trump to respect the election results. But Mr Alexander did not fully state that Mr Biden was the winner and the incoming president, despite the president-elect holding 306 Electoral College votes to Mr Trump’s 232 with little evidence to show that would change.
My statement on the presidential election. pic.twitter.com/m4gXnhY8ZP
— Sen. Lamar Alexander (@SenAlexander) November 20, 2020
“Recounting votes and resolving disputes after a close election is not unprecedented and should reassure Americans that election results are valid,” he said. "Al Gore finally conceded 37 days after the 2000 election, and then made the best speech of his life accepting the results.
“My hope is that the loser of this presidential election will follow Al Gore’s example, put the country first, congratulate the winner and help him to a good beginning of a new term.”
Georgia was one state that recounted its votes given the close margin between Mr Biden and Mr Trump. The results of the hand recount, which were released on Thursday, confirmed Mr Biden won the state.
Referencing the recount of votes could be Mr Alexander’s way of imploring the president to accept the final results in Georgia, and potentially others states.
Mr Alexander ended his statement by saying, “The prompt and orderly transfer or reaffirmation of immense power after a presidential election is the most enduring symbol of our democracy.”
Few members of the GOP have spoken out against the president refusing to accept the election results, and most of them have not acknowledged Mr Biden as the president-elect.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah has been one of the more outspoken congressional members against Mr Trump and his decision to not accept the election results. He was also the first to publicly congratulate Mr Biden on the election win.
In a statement released on Thursday, Mr Romney said: “Having failed to make even a plausible case of widespread fraud or conspiracy before any court of law, the President has now resorted to overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election. It is difficult to imagine a worse, or more undemocratic action by a sitting American President."