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Biden introduces Susan Rice, others for key administration posts

The president-elect will be sworn into office in 40 days.

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden on Friday formally introduced more key members of his administration, several of whom are veterans of the Obama White House.

During an afternoon event in Wilmington, Del., Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harrispresented Susan Rice as the White House domestic policy adviser; Denis McDonough as the nominee for secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs; Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, as the nominee for secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development; Tom Vilsack as the nominee for secretary of the Department of Agriculture; and Katherine Tai as the nominee for U.S. trade representative.

The picks had all been previously announced.

"Above all, they know how government could and should work for all Americans," Biden said of the members of his administration he introduced Friday.

Biden specifically praised Rice, who served as national security adviser and ambassador to the United Nations during the Obama administration, as a "policy heavyweight" who'd be serving in a "big and critical role" in his own White House.

Biden also briefly discussed the worsening pandemic, reiterating promises that he would, use “every power available tome as president” to put in place “national coordination that will beat this virus.”

He did not take any formal questions from reporters, but when a reporter shouted question about his son Hunter Biden, who is facing a federal investigation into his taxes, Biden said only, "I'm proud of my son."

In other transition news:

  • President Donald Trump has no public events Friday on his schedule.
  • Biden and Harris have been selected as the 2020 Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” beating out Trump, front-line health care workers and Dr. Anthony Fauci, as well as the racial justice movements that emerged after the death of George Floyd in police custody.
  • In a statement Thursday evening, Biden said a key panel's recommendation that the Food and Drug Administration authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use "is a bright light in a needlessly dark time."
  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and White House counsel Pat Cipollone emailed staff Thursday reminding them that the president’s record is a "priority" and that they must “prioritize preparations for a smooth transition,” a source familiar with the matter told NBC News. The email was first reported by CNN.
  • More Republican lawmakers joined a friend-of-the-court filing with the United States Supreme Court backing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's bid to invalidate the presidential election results in four states. The additions bring the total number of congressmen backing the bid to 126 - about two-thirds of the 196 Republican members of the House of Representatives. Among those now putting their names to efforts to void millions of votes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Georgia are House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, and Rep. Greg Pence of Indiana, who is Vice President Mike Pence's brother.