Obama’s GSA admin Denise Turner Roth stresses importance of transition

Denise Turner Roth served as Obama's General Services Administration admin from 2015 to 2017 and urges a smooth transition between Trump to Biden for the sake of the country

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President-elect Joe Biden is being denied intelligence briefings as outgoing GSA administrator Emily Murphy will not affirm his win to officially begin his transition to commander-in-chief. Murphy’s predecessor has now cautioned that the process should not be partisan for the sake of the country.

As theGrio reported, Murphy has not signed off on Biden’s access to intelligence, background checks, and federal funds. Murphy, appointed by President Donald Trump, has refused, claiming that the election is still in doubt.

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Denise Turner Roth served as administrator of the General Services Administration from 2015 to 2017 during Barack Obama’s time as president. The role is not well known but an essential part of it is to acknowledge the winner in a presidential election and provide a path to transition between ongoing and outgoing administrations.

In an op-ed published by CNN Wednesday, Turner Roth expressed her concerns over Murphy’s stonewalling more than two weeks after Biden was projected to be the 46th President of the United States.

GSA Denise Turner Roth thegrio.com
Denise Turner Roth (Credit: General Services Administration)

“As it is, the transition period barely gives enough time to prepare the incoming leadership. Every day lost sets the new administration further behind and can hamper its ability to effectively govern,” Turner Roth wrote.

“This delay is particularly dangerous considering the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The federal government must operate efficiently and smartly to see our nation through this difficult time.”

Roth cited the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as a matter of urgency and that Biden needed to have full knowledge of what is taking place to address it. theGrio reported that Biden has created an advisory board to tackle the airborne virus which has killed more than 250,000 Americans.

Read More: Trump admin orders federal agencies to resist Biden transition team

However, he is not allowed to work with government officials because Murphy has not signed a letter of ascertainment acknowledgment that he won the election.

“The transition team also needs access to staff at the Health and Human Services Department who have direct lines to the local health agencies that will play a key role in vaccine distribution. It needs to consult with Treasury Department officials over the implementation of future Covid economic relief,” Roth continued.

“There are countless problems that can emerge from a transition delay, but surely the most urgent and tragic one is a crippled government response to a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and sickened millions.”

GSA Denise Turner Roth thegrio.com
Denise Turner Roth (Credit: General Services Administration)

Turner Roth referenced the transition between former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in 2000 when the GSA administrator also delayed certifying the election results.

The 9/11 Commission Report would later declare that the slow transition was a factor in the terror attack.

“The current delay threatens to repeat that mistake,” she warned.

The 2016 election result came as a surprise to many but Turner Roth made the decision to move forward the day after the election when Trump was declared the victor. She now asks Murphy to do the same.

“It is time once again to act, enabling democracy to move us forward and allow the federal government to coordinate with President-elect Biden and his team. The health and well-being of the American people depend on it,” she concluded.


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