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Cabinet shapes up even before the US election fight gets going

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Decisions: Joe Biden is considering new cabinet roles

Decisions: Joe Biden is considering new cabinet roles

REUTERS

Decisions: Joe Biden is considering new cabinet roles

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden says he has started assembling a presidential transition team and is considering whether to elevate an official tasked with addressing pandemics to his cabinet.

Speaking at a virtual fund-raiser, Mr Biden said the process has been under way for some time.

The former vice-president effectively clinched the nomination last week, when Senator Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign.

Discussions have started about the prospect of elevating some White House offices to cabinet level, Mr Biden said. Among those are the office of science and technology policy, the global health security pandemic office and a separate climate change operation.

Mr Biden's campaign has focused heavily on the pandemic in recent weeks, as he has been forced by coronavirus restrictions to live-stream events from his Delaware home, where he has installed a video studio in his basement.

Mr Biden said he "would consider announcing some cabinet members before the election," but said he hasn't "made that commitment" yet.

Nevertheless, he said he has a good idea who would fill the positions. "If the Lord Almighty said 'Joe, you have to decide in three hours what your cabinet is or you're going to be bounced out of the race', I could write down who could be in the cabinet," he said.

"There are at least two or three people qualified for every one of those positions."

Pre-election cabinet announcements would be highly usual, but the possibility reflects a campaign trying to project competence and preparedness, qualities it hopes will contrast with President Donald Trump, who Mr Biden is casting as chaotic and woefully unreliable in moments of crisis. (© Washington Post)

Irish Independent